Friday, 20 June 2008

Happy Birthday Hardy!

It's Hardy's birthday today and i was up on my feet the whole day yesterday! i didnt even sit down till it was dinner time!

I was cracking my head on what to give him for his birthday for the past couple of weeks. he could do with a golf set but it requires him to try them out, some gadgets? he knows best (i dont even know there's an mp4!!), i even went on the net to look for some ideas, one was tempting, an acre of the moon for GBP20! it is so difficult to get guys a present! they are either way too expensive or just irrelevant! no, he doesnt need another watch, no he doesnt need another perfume, and so i decided not to give him something material (since i'm not a material girl! hehe, neither is he!). so i pledge to him, that i'll be a better wife, an improved better half, will take good care of him and today, his wishes are my command!

I've just spoke to my mum in law on the phone just now and thanked her for giving birth to my wonderful husband 34 years ago. we share some wonderful news, nice heartwarming stories, lots of laughters and shared some of our experiences. i miss mama...

It was all worth it. the look on his face and the thankfulness in him.. every tired bone and muscles are all now gone.

Anyway, i'm not gonna write any lovey dovey stuff for Hardy in here, i shall leave it between the 2 of us! so here's to you H, wishing you lots and lots of happiness, and hellava happy birthday! hope you like the cheesecake Aidan and i made! we love you more and more each day!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Bond

I've got way too much things to do lately. and i'm almost panicking! i have at least 15 cards to finish by the beginning of next month, birthday parties to plan, birthday presents to get, a logo to design, the whole house to clean (we're expecting some special guests!), emails and comments to reply, clothes to iron (thank God the washing's all done!), a 21 month old boy to juggle and blogs to write (see how much i love you guys!)... and when you have a 21 month old boy wanting to "help" with almost everything, it doesnt make it much easier and quicker! Hardy was away the last few days and i'm handling the house and our son alone, and when Aidan goes to bed at night, i feel like tucking myself to bed as well! there, there you have it - reasons why i have been quiet for the past week or so.

But Hardy's back from Helsinki! yeay! and i'm a little bit relaxed, but not for long i guess! i still have tonnes to do!

Anyway, it was Father's Day last Sunday. Hardy woke up with our son on the bed, all washed and cleaned, with a couple of presents and a colourful card. i dont think i could top what he did for me on Mother's Day, but hopefully he knows how much we love him! the boys then continued to mess the entire bed , shared a few loud giggles and tickles ... and then this...

I love to see the bond between the two, they are extremely close. i love watching them make silly moves and say silly things. i love looking at Aidan on Hardy's shoulders, i love listening to them giggling away. i love looking at them holding hands, i love it when Hardy teaches Aidan how to swing a golf club or kick a ball, i love it when they play at the sand pit, i love it when they talk to each other eventhough they might not get what each other's trying to say, i just love it when Aidan calls Hardy "papa" with his own tune (gives me time to at least relax a bit.. haha)... i simply love the dad in Hardy. and the best bit is when Hardy gets back from his trips, the voice, the tone, the expressions, the actions and reactions are even greater!

I know Aidan looks up to his dad. i also know how much they both adore each other. it's really nice to see the 2 of them together... it's just pure bliss! (plus the fact that i get to be on my own! hehe)

We all love our dads, deeply. we all have different ways of showing how much we love them. but the bottom line is still the same, we simply adore and love them.


Friday, 13 June 2008

That One Moment

It was honestly oh-so-beautiful. I love Barcelona more because of its beach! the life they have there is so laid back, just like Holland, but more with a beach! the locals here in the Netherlands love to cycle, i noticed the locals there love to run. they do cycle as well, and the bicycle lanes are organized, but slightly less than here, i musy say ;) holland is defintiely a fiets paradise!

Stephan, Hardy, Aidan and i walked from the centre to the beach. took us about a good 20 mins walk. the view was just breathtaking, and the fine warm sand, the cool water and not to mention the sound of the waves makes us just want to plant our feet in them and just be taken away by the beauty of it all. the beach was surprisingly clean, it's almost unbelievable!

And as Hardy and Stephan decided to stroll along the beach to find some good restaurants for dinner, Aidan and i headed straight to the water!

Aidan had his first taste of the beach in Barcelona.

And as i was sitting on the sand, watching him enjoying himself and, i looked to other happy faces on the beach, and i felt blessed. looking at the coastlines and the movements of everything else on the beach, i suddenly felt too overwhelmed. how is it possible for me, an ordinary girl to be here, at this part of the world to witness all these! its amazing!

My mind then went back to those days, where i went through too much at one particular time, having lost all hope and faith in love, having had little money when business was tough... to name a few. as i sat there looking at my son, i then kept saying ya allah, syukur probably a hundred of times everytime i think of those difficult times.

Most of us go through some kind of hardship, difficult patches along the journey of life, some are more complicated than others, some are life changing, some with a permanant disability, some just dramatic drastic changes, while some are fortunate enough, born with a silver spoon, born brainy and beautiful, born having everything sugar coated and probably own a line of posh cars. but i am so glad that all those "cuts, burises, hurtful, difficult challenging times" happed to me. i wouldnt appreciate life like how i appreciate life now, if i was born with a silver spoon. honestly, i strongly believe all the hard knocks happened for a reason. you might not be able to see it now, but eventually you will.

The best thing when you come out of the dark hole is when you can say, "hey, i did it!" sometimes i still cant believe that i'm here, with 2 amazing, wonderful boys to which i am married to one, and the other one is a result of being married! and the best thing is, to be absolute honest with each other. what i normally do when the past keeps on creeping is i tend to just brush it off, and sometimes laugh it off. i'm glad it all happened, pleased and very proud on how i handled things and thankful that all worked for the best for me.

I trully believe that everything happens for a reason, and that God is fair, He knows and hears everything. only He knows whats best. you really cant help it but tho think of all these when you're staring at the beautiful big blue ocean, with blue skies on the background... how small we are..

I think God sent us here, this part of the world, for a reason. syukur alhamdulillah. everytime when i'm in a different place, everytime when i witness different things, everytime when i look up to buildings and monuments in a different country i feel so grateful. it is just beyond words. and like what most of you said, i am absolutely lucky indeed. i do realise and acknowledge it. rezeki. i just wish i could share this, in real life with all of you, but i cant. so the closest i get is by blogging, sharing it here, through pictures and stories.

Aidan then sat on me and we played with the sand. and i thought to myself, i've never felt so content. i whispered to him- we're so lucky Dan. so so lucky. we sat on the beach for almost an hour before Hardy came to get us for dinner, just me and my son.

I am positive somewhere along the way, Aidan will face some hardships, knocks. bumps and will probably fall. there will be cuts and scars but its how you get yourself back up again, and learn how to walk, recover from all the bitterness and move on with your life that counts. i will be there for my son, just like how my parents were there for me. i hope he has good friends, just like what i had, i will be a good friend to him, just like my good friends were to me.... come to think of it, it's kindda scarry eh... but i've got Hardy by my side to put me into perspectives (on occations when i'm not!).

I've come quite a long way, and each of us have our stories. but i'd say the best bit for me was how i managed to get myself back up again. (to those of you who knows what i've been through, you know what i'm talking about!).

Life is a journey, not a destination. it is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way. and happiness is not a state to arrive at, but rather a manner of travelling.

I had that one special moment with my son on the beach. it will always, always be in my heart.

I'm glad we've travelled the distance. we shall continue to travel! i just pray, no matter where we are, we'll always be this thankful, grateful and happy.


Sunday, 8 June 2008

Breathtaking Barcelona

I'm sorry for the delay guys, but Friday was a busy day, and yesterday was our rest day. it's still early in the morning and my 2 boys are still asleep. i thought i might start on our Barcelona trip before i go downstairs to prepare us breakfast. here's my take on Barcelona!

We got out of the airport to get a taxi and saw a sea of black SEAT cars, lined up. we got on one and thought we'd just put on the normal seatbelt around the waist for Aidan, the driver stopped us and said something in spanish and get off his seat and pulled out this build-in child seat, with a bolster seat together with a seatbelt. i was very much impressed! i'm not sure if they just have it in taxis or all that type of SEAT cars, but surely is impressive! all cars should have one just like it!

Our hotel: It was just a good 20 mins drive from the airport to the hotel. normally in main cities, the airport would be quite a distance, but not this one. i was wow-ed by the hotel, didnt know we'd be staying at this fancy one where there were about at least 10 olive trees at the entrance, each at least 3 meters high (imagine how old they are!), their bed linens are all embroided with their logo (including Aidan's), where the bath tub is massively big, where they'd leave us a card by the bad every night, saying good night and let us know the weather for tomorrow, where there's live music playing downstairs at the lobby. you know, that's what i'd expect in hotels back home. (i must say the hotels back in Malaysia are excellent) but in Europe, all that is luxury! i am a little bit of a jakun coz i dont get to stay in hotels that much (in Europe), unlike my husband. so i certainly felt like Julia Roberts! for sure! with an almost 2 year old boy, i feel slightly lesser but when Hardy left me some money for shopping, i felt even more like Julia Roberts! (what was her name in Pretty Woman?).. but of course minus the whole lotus car and the hooker thing!

The view we had was simply awesome. our room was facing the pool, the playground, the Real Barcelona Polo Club and that massive Barcelona FC stadium! we could also see the Olimpic Area! i wanted to take the tour inside the stadium - being the 3rd largest in the world, i wanted to have a feel of it (eventhough i'm not into football). the tour might take a couple of hours and it'd be no fun doing it just us (Aidan and me) without Hardy. so we decided to give it a miss this time and will come back again for the stadium, next visit!

The public transport: Barcelona surprised me in so many ways. i am surprised that they have a very good metro (underground). trains are fast, new and journey was so plesant! there arent that many people even during the rush hours. well run, well maintained. you can get taxis easily, there's plenty of them! they go by the meter, not that expensive, like the ones here in the netherlands!

The Main Spot: The main street where all tourists go is called Las Ramblas. it is the heartbeat of Barcelona. the long tree lined pedestrian road is constantly throbbing, full of people, mainly tourists. the street stretches down from Plaza Catalunya to the Port area. there you'll see human statues, street performers, artists, some are good, some are so-so, and some, you wont even notice! Aidan was very entertained by a few. you can get all sorts of souveniurs there, from postacards to Barcelona FC stuff.

Indoor: It rained during one of the days Aidan and i was out and about. the best thing is to go to the museums, and if there's an aquarium, spend half a day in there, like we did!! his amusement didnt last that long, nope. he's not into sealife i suppose, jaws, stingrays, penguins only amuse him for the first 3 mins, but walkalators and escalators... now, that's something else!

Look che Ferran, you have a street with your name!! a busy buzzing street!

Roads & Cleanliness: Another thing that surprises me was how clean Barcelona is. taking into account the amount of tourists in the city, it is surprisingly clean!!!! and the roads... they are wide and very, very well planned. Barcelona had left me speachless!

Food: And where food is concerned, it is heaven! tapas there, there, everywhere! go with the seafood, you wont regret it!

Did i get to eat my paella? you bet i did! this restaurant we went had the best!

Sagrada Familia

Buildings: Last but not least, your visit to Barcelona wouldnt be complete without seeing the works of the famous Spanish architect - Antoni Gaudi. he is considered to be the Pablo Picasso of architecture. his work, buildings are trully something. really out of this world kindda buildings. i'm not sure if i'm fond of such buildings but i trully admire such bravery and uniqueness! you just HAVE to see it for yourself! it will blow you away! Spanish architecture is way way different than the french. Spanish's got more character i think, french has got more flare. but what do i know about architecture and buildings ey?

You know, back home, we sometimes say "gordi la furniture tu", or "ish gordi betul la baju tu".. meaning is overly decorated. well. that word "gordi" was taken from this guy Antoni Gaudi! take a look, now you know why! click here to see more of Gaudi's work.

Casa Batllo

Casa Mila, La Pedrera

One tip: It helps if you bring a small english-spanish dictionary if you dont speak spanish. most of them dont understand and speak english.

Shopping: Oh, those who know me, and knows me well will testify that i dont shop branded clothes. i'd go with what the high street has got to offer.i love shopping for bargains. before Barcelona, i own nothing of the brand ZARA. and after Barcelona, i am totally in love with the brand. only cause they are much much cheaper than over here, but i have to say they're very well tailored! Spain is the home of ZARA. so, a trip to Spain wouldnt be complete without an item (at least) from ZARA!

We really have to thank Hardy's friend Stephan for bringing us around. i enjoyed Barcelona, but i enjoyed Barcelona more thanks to him, educating us with all the histories and background of the places (and not to mention his jokes!)

If Hardy wouldnt have insisted us to come along, we wouldnt be witnessing all these! mucho gracias papa!!! te quiero!! lets go to Barcelona again, por favor?!


Monday, 2 June 2008

Much Worry Over Nothing... (again!)

Why oh why are you doing this to yourself, zaza!!!

We arrived safely in Barcelona at 2pm, after a 2 hours flight from Brussels. we pushed off slightly later than planned, making me more nervous in the car, prior to checking in. thank God Hardy was extremely cool and knows Brussels Airport by heart. the amount of journeys he did this year alone made the airport his playground. we found a parking spot the nearest to the terminal and used a few shortcuts, rushed straight to the check in counter.

Everything went good. Aidan was normal. enjoyed the flight. makan banyak and slept during landing! mama was very tensed but i've improved since! i could share a giggle or two now! unlike the first time! I HAVE GOT TO STOP DOING THIS TO MYSELF!

Barcelona is simply beyond words. just when i thought i've seen the best in europe, Barcelona came along and captured me and left me speachless.

My bestest of best friend Yoyo's on her way on tour to Spain! she'll be arriving tomorrow but her flight is to Madrid. it is so SO frustrating coz i dont think we could meet up. i was sobbing the other day when she told me she'd rather see me than go to visit Valencia and all, but i wouldnt want her to miss all that for me. she earned it. and it will be such and experience for her. she'll be on a group tour together with her Perodua Collegues, and by the time she's in Barcelona, i'll be back in Sittard. i hope to catch her at Amsterdam airport during her transit back to KL, by hook or by crook!

Anyway, this is it from Espana! we're staying at this hotel with a big potrait of the King infront. masok masok je nampak juan carlos (that's his name!). so wowwee! i feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman plus a kid but minus the hooker thing! oh, and behind the hotel is the Barcelona FC stadium (pity i'm not a football fan!).

Good night everyone! or i should say Buenas Noches!