Time to be Cheerful Again

In Preparation

In Preparation

It’s been a while – and I realise the year has almost finished and I have only written TWO full blog posts!

Well what can I say? 2014 has been so incredibly up and so incredibly down. I will say that this is the year that I turned 25, and then turned 30. About 5 years of aging… seems about right? Hopefully it was only mental – having a 54 year old mother who is frequently mistaken for 34 means pressure – I have some very youthful shoes to fill (sexy strappy sandals with a 5″ heel, to be precise). And the only things she credits are: sun block, excercise, and plenty of fruits and vegetables! Thanks Mum. :P

A’s due date is fast approaching. We named her. It is a beautiful name and I will tell you that it begins with the letter A. I worried that I would be falling apart this month but really – I have reached a space. Memories of my pregnancy are filled with joy, so I feel joy when I remember. Memories of my miscarriage and the months following are filled with pain, so I feel pain when remembering. I can feel both emotions fully and completely and still continue to feel and experience what is present, whatever that is. Thoughts of the future… well I have so many scenarios in my head with so many different emotions.

I take care of my health more. I’m more paranoid about pills, herbs and meds. I was never a big drinker of caffeine or alcohol but I have cut down even more now. And I feel kinda weird around 2nd hand smoke – like – the Crazy in me starts to yell out “GETAWAYFROMMEYOUAREKILLINGMYOVARIES” even though my logical brain knows that 2nd hand smoke exposure has been found to be dangerous during pregnancy when experienced daily, I think the number was about 4 packs of 2nd hand smoke a day?? YES I have checked the facts. A couple hours outdoors, around smokers, one day a week, is not going to hurt me or any unborn babies – according to the research.

But generally speaking, I am more paranoid about my health. I spent 25 years with a strong sense of trust in my own body and that suffered a major blow. I question EVERYTHING.

The miscarriage and the months following were the hardest in my life so far. I got a crash course in emotional management. That is: cry 1 hour before work – go to work and go HAM – go home and cry for another hour… or however long I need to for the evening. I actually allocated slots of time for myself to just cry non-stop… I had no idea I had that much control in me but it’s what I had to do, so I did it. Eventually, that daily schedule turned into an every-other-day schedule. Now its more like an evening once or twice a week. There were some adjustments along the road as well. Eventually I had to toughen up for my husband who was also suffering but differently. I’m not saying anything very new here but it should be said nonetheless: two different people in a relationship will react to everything differently. Relationships survive when you understand this fact and do not try to fight it. The emotional consequence of losing a baby can be equally as painful for men as it is for women. Because of our macho culture, men can feel very caught off guard to be feeling such pain after a miscarriage (not that we aren’t caught off guard, it’s just that the emotional pain is a little more expected of us), but for many men it is still there nonetheless. They may not all show it the same ways we do, but it’s still there and it still hurts.

To say work was crazy when I went back after my week off is an understatement! Whether this is coincidence or not – I have no idea. But professionally, I have grown a LOT. Once again – out of necessity, being thrown into the deep end and all. My boss resigned days before I found out I was pregnant and for the next couple months it was all easy and quiet despite being the only employee in my department. Then, somehow, I came back and major presentations and deadlines just APPEARED! I worked a tonne of extra hours that first month in order to take part in my first ever presentation as a professional. I’ve been going to fancy meetings, taking control of several projects… I have crossed several milestones in just 6 months… and I am very impressed with myself. I can even say the same for my husband experiencing the same thing! All this acheived while sorting through so much pain. I actually felt like I was losing my mind through all of this and that is not an exaggeration. Seriously considered going to therapy, however that would have meant taking more time off work as NO ONE makes appointments past 4pm. Plus, that sh*t is EXPENSIVE. Husband and I decided to tough it out with friends and family. Whether we would have benefited from therapy, I don’t know, but we have survived.

The reason why I have named this post “Time to be Cheerful Again” is because finally, I feel like my husband and I are in sync again. I feel so loving towards him and I feel so loved by him. After months of distance between us when neither of us felt much of these things towards each other, I feel so blessed to be back here again. We are not perfect, we never will be, but we work and we are in love again.

My parents and brother are coming to visit in 5 days and I cannot wait. I have missed them more than ever, I just wish my sister was coming too but she has a dissertation to write :P so I understand completely, having been there before!

Praying for health and love through the next step.

A’s Mother.

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Somewhere to Share

I have been trying to write a post for a while and have not yet been able to finish one.

But.

I read this today and I really want to share it, although I did not want to share it on Facebook. So here it is on my blog:

A Lot Of Hush: Motherhood Lost

Things I Want To Do With My Life

Door... Oh symbolism!!

Door… Oh symbolism!!

Trying to organise my thoughts and life plan here… So many ideas but there’s this whole time/money thing that I have to figure out.

So here are the parameters that I have to work within:-

I am 24 years old and basically would love to do MOST of this before I am 30…

Please don’t ask me about money… We could talk about that another time!

Here goes…

1. There was something here but I am now leaving it blank… Too personal even for an anonymous blog! Meh :-p

2. A good few trips around this country so that I can photograph all the beautiful, strange, dark, and unique things there are to see.

3. A good walk around all the parts of London that I SHOULD HAVE photographed while I lived there, but hey you don’t ever realise what you’ve got til it’s gone! Specifically, Hammersmith, West Kensington, Camden and Fulham. All of those areas have a special place in my heart. Oh yea and Shepherds Bush! Yep I said it. I WANT TO photograph random normal places (said with the exception of Camden which is known universally amongst Londoners as a little quirky/strange)

4. I want to take my husband to my hometown in Scotland so he can see where I spent the first 11 years of my life. It really is beautiful.

5. I also want to take my husband to Singapore and Malaysia to meet more of my family.I have gone there for at least a month every 2-3 years my entire life so even if I’ve never actually lived there it is still a big part of me.

6. Australia… Cos husbands friend travelled all the way from Australia to watch us get married and its only fair we return the love!

7. So just combining numbers 2-5…. Basically one huge mega trip because it doesn’t make sense to travel all the way to Australia without making a few stops on the way!!

8. Buy a car

9. Buy a house… Combining incomes, not wanting to waste another penny on rent.

10. Decorate said house… gradually while spending as little money as possible! Might be kinda hard to do with all this other stuff on the list…Hmm… Just a distant dream this one!

11. a) Get an MA in Construction Management or become a fully qualified archieeaAAaasjfmcndkakrncnglll!!!!

OR

11. b)  SCREW COMBINED INCOMES and become a blissfully happy and hardworking housewife!!!

Ugh…. This list is giving me a HEADACHE!!

What world am I living in? Seriously!!

Why can’t I just be a Disney Princess????

The Wedding Post!!

I AM MARRIED! :D OMG I can’t believe how crazy everything was in the 10 days leading up to the wedding… and how at peace we finally are now!

Wow.

I kinda half expected to be calm throughout the whole thing, I was ever so slightly worried about it being anti-climactic and just feeling like nothing was different. Very glad I was wrong!

The week before was a tough one though. I was perfectly calm despite being really busy up until the cake lady called me on the Friday before the wedding saying she had no notes on what I wanted…. not “Sorry, I seem to have lost my notes.” But “Hi, I need instructions as to what you want on your cake” despite the meetings and phone calls made months in advance to sort everything out, and many follow up calls to try and find out when we should expect to receive a costing. Despite all that, the cake lady called me exactly one week before the wedding day to find out what I want as a wedding cake and seemed to have completely forgotten that we had spoken many times before and that I had in fact watched her write at least 2 pages of notes! Anyway, I told her to speak to my future Mother-In-Law. I did not want to hear from her again!

That set me off, from that moment up until the wedding day I was being bombarded with phone calls while running up and down all over the place, feeling nervous, busy, worried, tired, overwhelmed with all kinds of adrenaline spikes showing up throughout each day.

Basically I think the underlying worry (sugarcoated with cake issues, bouquet hang ups bla bla bla) was the dreadful thought that I could potentially ruin a wonderful mans life by marrying him. Yea I sound a little crazy, didn’t think that I would be that bride ESPECIALLY after being with this same wonderful man since we were both 14! But I was. Why was I worrying about that? Because I have no real idea what kind of person I will be 20 or 30 years from now. My Dark Side has managed to surprise me in the past… I hate to think of what kind of surprises it has waiting further down the road. Ugh!

The worst was every morning when I woke up early to do whatever else needed to be done for that day. I woke up with all these tasks looming over my head, plus that worry! All my belly could handle was fruit :P I think I lost some pounds in that week, not on purpose because my dress had fit like a glove by the end of my last fitting!! My stomach just doesn’t handle food and adrenaline very well :-s

Anyway, once I got busy and surrounded myself with my wonderful family and bridesmaids I calmed down by the end of the day :) the hen/bachelorette weekend was wonderful. We went to my favourite hike in the whole world!! It is a beautiful river in a jungle and you can either walk along the river or wade/swim up the whole way until you reach 3 pools one after the other. I had not been back since the last time we lived here in the year 2006. Went with my family and my bridesmaids :D One of them was very scared as she had never been on a hike before and was worried about snakes, I re-assured her that she was safe but of course she was still scared, I almost offered to end the hike but she kept on going and I really feel she deserved a medal for trekking on! And then doing 3 more hikes as well before going back to London after the wedding! Anyway… I can’t put in words but the end of that hike was beauuuutiful and I was so happy to share that with 5 of my favourite girls and again with my family!

Then for the actual hen night we started off at my best friends house and they surprised me with food and drinks and of course explicitly shaped confetti and games and drinks… oh yea I said drinks already hehe! :D it was great having my mum and sister there too, plus my now Mother-In-Law and Auntie-In-Law and Cousin-In-Law’s and a bunch of old friends from high school. I had not partied with my mum and sister in a while! In fact I don’t think I had ever properly partied with my sister before! Then the Mother-In-Law and Auntie-In-Law left and the rest of us (with my mum) went to a gay bar :D most likely the ONLY gay bar in this country. One of my friends had got his connections there to book us a separate booth which was great :D and we got a surprise show at the end while we were sat inside the mini-bus. Some guys decided to start wining up in front of the bus, and then would stop and try to look inconspicuous as soon as anyone walked past.

Then the next day was a big family get together at our house in which my family were introduced to a LOT of the Husbands family. I loved it! My dad especially made sure to socialise with EVERYONE and we all enjoyed ourselves so much! That was another blessing because our families are so different I had always wondered if it would be an awkward introduction but it wasn’t. It was just perfect!

Then from that Monday to the Friday was back to business and worrying with a break for the rehearsal dinner on the Thursday. The Friday I had a good cry to at least 2 of my bridesmaids and also the Husband. All at different times of the day. They each managed to reassure me that I probably won’t become a horrible person in the next 20 or 30 years :P I just needed to vent! I had hoped to spend that last day relaxing with my family, but instead ended up getting caught up with more tasks all the way up until 8:30 that evening. As I sat down ready to close my lap top and head over to the hotel where I would spend the night with my family, I checked my voicemails and had an ANGRY message from the nun! One of the documents she needed for the marriage certificate was not there, so luckily my dad was already on his way to pick me up. I just told him we needed to go and deliver this document to the nun’s convent which happened to be on the top of a hill that was deep into one of the not so nice parts of the country :-s at night as well! The Auntie-In-Law managed to direct us all the way there and I was able to deliver the document to the nun who lowered a basket on the end of a rope from her balcony for me to put the document in… felt so old school! My husband calls that nun Sister Thug. She is very assertive and strict and opinionated.

I finally got to the hotel at about 10:30-11ish and spent a few hours sitting and debating social/racial/historical issues with the rest of my nerd family INCLUDING my relatives from Canada and Fiji who I had not seen since my cousins wedding exactly 11 years before my wedding date! That is a complete coincidence by the way! Her wedding was on the 10th August 2002. She was 24. Now I am 24 and our wedding was the 10th August 2013 :) Aaaah life! But after sitting and talking with them it is very easy to see that despite distance and time, we are all one family of hard core nerds :P I ended the night snuggling in bed watching cartoons with my sister and brother as we have done so many times before. OMG this post is getting long….

Anyway, the next day I woke up and got married!! :D It actually went by so well, it was beautiful. My nerves all seemed to go away as I walked up the aisle. Even as my dad whispered “you know, it’s not too late to turn back now! :D ” and I turned and whispered “SHUT. UP.” I was just cool… like this is exactly where I was meant to be. We hugged and then Dad “gave me away” to my husband and as we sat down I realised… wait for it… my calm and collected man was very nervous!! I squeezed his hand the whole time, and to be honest, this helped me a great deal. I loved that I could support him just as he had supported me. My favourite part of the wedding was reading out our vows. We went with the traditional vows as although they are simple they are also as perfect as they can get. Husband and I used to talk about writing our own vows years ago when we were teenagers, but over all this time it’s kind of like we have said everything we could possibly think of that we are happy now with the vows the church has given us. It’s like they are the only thing left to say.

My heart was pounding but I can’t call the feeling nervous. I just remembered to tell myself not to stumble over my words, to focus, to concentrate on what the priest was saying. I was telling myself all this in my mind because these had been big worries of mine before as well. I often think of the worst way I could possibly mess up at crucial situations so that I can try and make sure it doesn’t happen. Believe me, I can think of many ways and they can get pretty bad! But even though I was telling myself not to mess up I didn’t need to. I felt so relieved to hear myself say each word and I loved to hear each sound as I said it. As I said, this is exactly where I am meant to be.

Oh, another little detail, it was POURING rain throughout the ceremony! There was even some thunder that happened to come at a crucial point… I can’t remember if it was during the priests homily or right after the gospel reading. Perfect timing anyway :P Will have to review that when we get our wedding video… It continued to rain as we took our family photos in the portico for shelter.

It stopped raining just in time for our portrait session in the Botanical Gardens! Photos of just my husband and I with our Best Man and one out of my two Maid of Honour’s (my wonderful sister!) with us to help with the veil, bouquet, wiping sweat from my husbands brow etc! That was so nice and intimate, husband and I were talking to each other through most of it. The photographers were so professional while also very relaxed and interactive! Helped to let us just feel comfortable instead of micromanaging every pose.

Then we got to the reception and that is when I started to feel the adrenaline again! Neither my husband or I could eat more than a couple bites of the really good food. And we also only had a bite of our cakes as well, and completely forgot to ask the staff to cut it up and serve it to everyone. We are now desperately trying to eat all of my cake before it goes off :P. Husbands cake is a fruit cake with brandy in it so that is fine.

The speeches were beautiful. A little nerve wracking cos I was wondering what stories were going to be exposed to all of our guests but it wasn’t so bad. My sister was the one worst! She spent the first half talking about how mean we were to each other growing up to the point where she actually stopped and said to me “don’t worry, it gets better!” and it did to my relief!! We were at each others throats as kids, but since we both grew up we have definitely become much closer and I am very happy to have her. My husbands speech was very RAW and that is because he was so sure that he would remember everything he wanted to say without writing notes, and then as we stood up by the mic he made sure to begin with “I forgot what I wanted to say!” Psssshhhh, we all told him before to at least write some notes!! But oh well, he did actually manage to say most of what I remember him preparing to say before, it just came out sounding much more free-styled. He made sure to thank everyone for helping to make me and him into a wonderful couple, and also to tell everyone that he loves me with all his heart even though he usually doesn’t like all that public mushy stuff :P

The dances were a little awkward, especially since we just picked songs we liked rather than songs with a more dance-y rhythm :P plus my dad cannot dance at all!!! AT ALL!! That’s ok I lead our dance with a sort of two step thingy and we sang along to the music.  My husband and I just kinda cuddled and swayed to our song which was a very nice song, I wish it could have gone on longer :)

After that we went straight on to cutting the cake and tossing the bouquet most likely because everyone just wanted to start dancing and partying :P the ceiling was pretty low so I had to make sure to try and toss the bouquet directly behind me, and it landed right in my bridesmaids hands she didn’t even have to fight for it, just stood there… Husband says I cheated and was aiming for her :P I swear I wasn’t!

Either way, it was a very good wedding, I wish it went on for two days instead of just one but that would have gotten very expensive :P after the party my husband and I went home to pack our overnight bags and headed to the hotel. It was beautiful! Luxurious! Never stayed in a room so fancy! There was a shower with a rain effect shower head and it was placed in a glass enclosure in the middle of the room! For breakfast the next day I still couldn’t eat everything :P It was such a good night though.

We went on our honeymoon 3 days later as a lot of our guests only arrived a few days before the wedding and we wanted to spend more time with them. I have a couple of stories for that as well but I think those will have to wait for another post :P I might even write it tomorrow just because there’s still so much to say about the past couple weeks!

Of course there were mishaps on the wedding day as well. No one ever seems to mention those so people end up working so hard to achieve the perfect wedding, but the truth is, everything can’t go according to plan! I could list a bunch of mishaps! From little things like food stains on my dress, cake issues, to proper family drama on both our sides and even between ourselves (just a little bit!) as when you put enough people together in an emotional situation I think it’s just fate :P but the point is no matter how you put it, a wedding is a beautiful occasion and any mishaps do not need to overshadow this.

My husband and I are now united together for the rest of our lives by God. I think one of the nicest feelings that I am feeling right now is pure relief and gratitude that we got this far. Despite everything. Despite all of my issues, all of his issues, all of our drama that took us through ups and downs over the past 10 years we are finally here and married!

Thank God!

Lots of Love

Mrs. Smileyface

Update / Forms of Prayer

OMG I’m getting married in almost ONE MONTH!!

This year went by incredibly fast!

I have been so busy.

I have been hiding from the internet.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

My faith, along with many other things tends to progress in hills and valleys, meaning: sometimes my faith is strong, sometimes it is weak, sometimes I take God for granted. Seeing those last few words on paper just seem so harsh. I don’t like it.

I’m not like some people who’s faith is so ingrained in them that it just seems to come so naturally, that missing church on New Years Eve or on a random Sunday would be unthinkable. Sometimes I have to remind myself to pray and some times it. just. doesn’t. happen. For whatever reason, I could be distracted, I could have nothing to say. Most of the time distracted.

Anyway, I was very happy this weekend because 1. I went to church. 2. It’s time to choose readings for the wedding :)

Reading seems to help me more than anything when it comes to prayer. It just focuses my mind and it motivates me. It gives me different topics to think about and dwell on. I feel/hope that on the days when I don’t manage to lie down and focus on just silent prayer, that my reading and the thoughts sparked by reading are heard by God.

On top of this, I am very thankful when people are willing and eager to talk about faith. You could be Christian, Atheist, Muslim, whatever. We don’t have to agree on everything or even on most things, but I am just happy that these kinds of discussions keep my mind on or around God and that hopefully I am doing the same for you too!

Anyway, time to go and prepare for tomorrow. Tonight that means sleep and pray!

Goodnight and sweet dreams :)

This Time Last Year + 40 Days and some

I’ve been hiding for a while because sometimes in this world… you just gotta hide! Nuff said.

So last year was such an experience!

I love looking back on it, remembering where I was at this exact time and seeing how far I have come. Especially since this is an amazing Lent story for me!

Remember that job I wrote about at Christmas time?

Well, I resented that I had to commute to North London every day when the job I had applied for was supposed to be just a 15 minute walk from my flat! They coaxed me in by saying “Oh just a couple weeks in North London while we get the Hammersmith site set up!” and then a couple weeks turned into 5 months. I almost quit the job but after having a rant to my employment adviser at the agency, then announcing my plans to move abroad she exclaimed how happy she was for me, and that it is probably best I just stay in the job she got me until it’s time to leave! Yea yea, it’s her job to say that but she really did cheer me up that day! What can I say?

So I reached February and it was Pancake Day, the day before Ash Wednesday. I got home after 7pm every day so was not sure how to go about asking my “temperamental” boss to let me leave early to go to church. I got to work and he was not in for the whole morning. I kind of resigned myself to just end up missing church on Ash Wednesday and finding a way to make up for it in my own small mind….

Then I hear some employees say “Code red from Hammersmith!” which basically means the guys at the Hammersmith office made sure to let us know that the boss was heading over to us and he was not happy!

I walked downstairs to get some tea and look who it is! The boss! He says “I’m moving up your date to start at Hammersmith.” I said “Oh really? To when?”

“How about tomorrow?”

Yessss!!! I moved to the Hammersmith office on Ash Wednesday and finished work with plenty of time to go get my ashes at church!

It felt sooo perfect! Waking up at the exact same time every day only to get home a whole 2 hours earlier! Walk 15 minutes to and from work, have lunch at home, return to day light… perfect!

And on the exact day that I started my secretarial work in Hammersmith my colleagues and my new boss start saying “you should apply for our architectural position!”

OMG!!

I had sent out at least 200 applications for architectural jobs and with no more than just one unsuccessful interview which I had managed to fail nearly 2 years before…. and now this opportunity just seemed to fall into my lap.

But remember, I had already made the plans to move abroad with my the boyfriend that year. Would he or any of his family expect me to stay true to my word if I take the job? But look how long and hard I had worked for it! Everything had come together for that exact moment!

And then I remembered:

It’s Ash Wednesday.

God had put me in the perfect position to go to church and get my Ashes exactly when I needed to, and then says… “So… here is your life. What’s it gonna be??”

I was at a fork in the road that began right on Ash Wednesday and went on for God knows how long, and I can’t say if the two paths would have ever merged again.

So I had to give up something right?

I remembered that God is Love, and went on with my life.

Here I am now :D

Happy Easter!!

(I know this is late… but it’s still the Easter season!)

Entropy :-D

Read something good today :) and he mentions the law of entropy (physics woooooo!!!)

This is a beautiful post that to me is an explanation/extension of the quote that:

“all that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

This is not politically motivated. I’m still a bit of a kid when it comes to those things.

This is more personal. You know… more related to the whole internal conflict of My Dark Side!

Although, dare I say, I’ve been feeling pretty bright these days! It’s good to read something every now and then to remind myself of my own personal struggles that I need to stay on top of. It’s better to read and be reminded rather than slip up and remind myself!

Oh and also, just for sharings sake, this is a post about marriage which I like a lot! A man tells his wife of 20 years “I don’t love you anymore.” and she goes “Psshhh! Yea right!”

Happy Weekend!

Smileyface :)

 

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