Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Little Something at THE END

Before i even begin, i must thank you all for all the comments and emails regarding my last post. i want you to know that i have read them but i just havent had the chance to reply to each individual comments and emails. i am humbled by your generosity with words and also moved by some of your comments and emails. i thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart!

In case you're wondering why i have been so quiet, well, we are all doing good. everyone's healthy and happy, we're just a bit busy. busy living life! we did quite a bit of travelling lately, from the middle east, to asia and within europe itself. i needed some time to just enjoy the moment, digest without documenting every step of our journey (although i did pen it down!).

Life's been absolutely amazing for us. we've got too much to be thankful for. sometimes we forget that. and sometimes we need an extra nudge from someone or something that we saw during our visits to make us realize how lucky we are.

The past couple of months flew by really fast. i've learnt and experienced a lot. felt touched by a lot of people. its been overwhelming and like always, i managed to sit on my favorite seat with a hot drink in my hand and take them all in.

I've realized now my motherhood stage has entered a different level. as i lay down in bed watching him sleep next to me, i cannot believe that he has grown into a responsible boy and how far we've come since his birth. how he loves to help with almost everything, how he comforts me when i'm sad and looked worried, how he reasons things out, how he negotiates with me and how lovely it is to be kissed and be told that he loves me without having to ask! how he is grateful for all the things he gets and thanking me each day. it's been rewarding. absolutely rewarding watching a child grow, my son grow.

Colleagues now have a different meaning to us. last monday was just so special beyond words for both hardy and i. it doesnt matter how many friends you have in this world, it is the type of friends that you have. we are extremely lucky to get to know and be friends with some of the nicest, sincerest people here. the support and friendship means the world to us. i think, for both hardy and i, we love to give. i feel content everytime i give, from love, time, knowledge to material things. personally i think giving (without expecting anything in return!!) is much more than receiving. we're so used to giving till we forget how it feels to be at the receiving end! and last monday, hardy was at the receiving end. i was touched and couldnt be prouder. and hardy was totally chuffed. he was absolutely chuffed. you see, each of us carry our own stories of how we get to the point that we are in now. not everyone knows the whole entire story. we carry them ourselves with hope, faith and strength to where ever we go. and to hear other people are aware of the sacrifices he has made, we both have made, acknowledgements and the words "thank you" somewhere along the way after all the hardship, sacrifices and all the hard work made it all worth the ride. it truly is fulfilling. last monday's dinner was really something!

Anyway, i thought i might share a little something... for the last time.

A little something about LOVE

Love is something everybody has. love is a powerful, very powerful tool.

On a rather personal side, like most people, i've been hurt before. and i got hurt bad. really bad. i went through quite a bit during those years. i was being looked down in more than just one way by others. those who know me well knows what i've been through and what i had to put up with towards the end of it. but after all that dramas, i'm grateful it has brought me to hardy. love shouldnt be complicated. love is so simple. and we made it simple and sincere.

In relationships, i think the most important thing is we love each other for what we are and what we can be and achieve. not what we have on paper or what type of house we grew up in, backgrounds we have. we respect and love each others parents and family. its important to love what we're doing. what we do, love our jobs (let it be a housewife to the highest position in the corporate world you can ever think of!), do it for love and everything seems very much lighter! love the company that we're in, the people that we hang out with, love the company that you work for, love the people living, standing next to you, even if they're perfect strangers!

"Spread love everywhere you go. first of all in your own house. give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. be the living expression of God's kindness. kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in yor warm greeting." - Mother Theresa.

A little something about HOPE

There will be once or twice in our life when we might question or even doubt yourself. there was this one time, at one point of my life, i felt that everything was drifting away. but then i realized that if you lose hope, you somehow will lose that vitality that keeps life moving. you'll not just be losing hope, you will lose courage as well. hope is something you hang on to. i now believe that everything will be ok at the end. if its not ok, its not the end. and if you dont get it, well, you might get something better! and i remember reading this once somewhere- when the catterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

"The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. and the most you can do is live inside that hope. not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof." Barbara Kingsolver.

A little something about STRENGTH

There will be one part of your life, where He would really test your level of patience, your level of maturity, your faith and everything else you have in you. there'll be rough patches, tough rides. God knows what we've been through and how we went through it to get here. for me and hardy, i must say it wasnt plain sailing all the way. but we've manged somehow to sail slowly and gently with great strength to overcome them. from getting a house here in a foreign land after just 4 months of living here, renovating the house to make it our home (and what happened inbetween that), our experience with certain dutch doctors during Aidan's delivery and during his first year... to our everyday problems let it be at work or with other people, friends and families. we've all been on some kind of a bumpy ride.

I suffered post natal depression after i delivered Aidan. and trust me, it was one hell of tough period for both hardy and i. but we somehow we managed to turn those wounds to wisdom.

Strength does not come from winning. your struggles develop your strenghts. when you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness. nothing is so gentle as real strength." Frances de Sales

A little something about FAITH

Faith helps us approach life with a sense of possibility rather than foreboding or helplessness. it dares us to imagine what we might be capable of. it enables us to reach for what we dont yet know with a measre of courage. it gives us resilience in times of difficulty.

My own faith has taught me that whatever disappointments i might meet, i can try again and trust again and love again.

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. nothing can be done without hope and confidence" Helen Keller.

A little something about GRATITUDE

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands. because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy. because we will always want to have something else or something more.

I thank every opportunity i get. i thank everything around me, even when life throw you lemons sometimes. i even thanked those lemons!!

I thank Him.

I am grateful for love, and i am grateful for my life. i'm so grateful for everything that has happened to me. if not for each and every one of them, i wouldnt be where i am now and what i am today.

I guess my point is, if you ever ever feel down in whatever sense, not loved, no hope, you just HAVE to love yourself, have faith in your abilities, efforts and talents, find the strength to pick yourself back up again and start walking and when you've finally made it, when you've started walking or even running, i hope you'll smile at all those events that has happened and be thankful that it happened.

It might be tough in the beginning, but trust me, it will get better.

There is absolutely no point of being angry (although for me sometimes it helped! but the faster you cool down the more rational you'll be and be grateful for it!), no point in asking "whys" again and again, no point in dwelling (five to ten mins of dwelling is enough! oh well... ok, maybe ten!), no point of being jealous of someone who has more, no point of having ill feelings no matter what that other person did to us. simply no point at all!

Just be thankful you're still breathing!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."John F Kennedy


They say every good things must come to an end. well, this is one of them. through my blogs and what i write, i have gotten to know loads and loads of people, have tremendous support and encouragement. i've made friends from all over, have met and known some trully remarkable women and those friendships will last forever, i'm certain of that.

No, i havent run out of steam. i'm just going to move to something (and perhaps somewhere) better. i wont stop writing, that's for sure.

This is a start. a beginning to many many new and exciting things. i've thought long and hard. this is the end to me blogging, but it is the beginning to a new book with new stories and adventures. i know i've promised you to write my takes on our travels. i will write on them, perhaps not just in here. i trully am sorry if you have waited. i will work on it, in fact. i am so looking forward to it. looking forward to write my very own book.

I wish you all the good things in life. thank you for everything. for your time, your kind words, your friendship, your comments. you have made me smile, cry, laugh and you have made me a better person, i thank you.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. happiness is the spirital experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

As always, all the very best wishes, and all the love and happiness to you, my fellow virtual friends...


Tot Ziens

Monday, 16 November 2009

Finding, Giving, Living and Loving

Sharing some of our precious time together (i'm sure my sister would share her side of their lovely time spent together if she has the time to even put her feet up!). our one fine day at the park near our home.
with one of my favourite country singers, Alison Krauss in the background singing one of the most beautiful songs - a simple love.

I cant begin to tell you how much a family life means to me. i dont think i'm made for the corporate world, working behind a desk nor am i made for a lavish lifestyle. i think i'm simply made to nurture and i am trully grateful for the opportunity to be a full time mother and a wife. we all want wealth, yes. but we must not forget about wanting good health, good balance between work and family, a good mind to think, a good heart, alongside all other little details that we often forget - happiness, tranquility and be at ease with everything and everyone around you. i've always stressed the importance of having a balance life, where you can reach that level where you and your partner/family are comfortable leading your own life, how you want it to be, shaping your future together, no matter where you are and how much you have in your pockets with happiness in your hands. it is important.

Yes, i acknowledge, some people are luckier than others. but the key is never ever compare yourself with someone who has more than what you have. compare yourselves with someone who has less than what you have. that way, you can be grateful for the tiniest littlest things!

Our family is everything to us. they mean the absolute world. i'm extremely lucky to have both my parents come and visit me quite regularly here in holland. i am very lucky indeed. its not just their company, its their advise, its the love, its the support and the understanding that i have been getting from them when they're here that means a huge deal to me.

Little little things matter to me. a walk in the park, feeding the ducks mean so much. having that extra snuggling time in bed on saturdays and sundays just me and my boys, the 3 of us means a lot. watching aidan in hardy's arms and us, walking hand in hand means the absolute world. we often miss those little details. i sometimes forget myself, especially when housework is pilling up, ideas on what to craft comes in mind.. but thankfully, there's always someone to support me (by helping with some of the chores!), and remind me (by pinching and telling me that i've been slacking!)

I wish to give my parents everything for what they've given me and my sister. if i may be brutally honest, here's how i'd put it- i see the need to "save" my parents from the "hustle and bustle, the backstabbing, the snubbing, the scolding, the accusing" of being in malaysia. when we went back to malaysia for a month last summer, the "dramas" and all began as soon as i sat foot at my parent's new home, i heard and saw what they had to go through, i felt really sad for them. they do not deserve it. at this age, all i want is for them to be happy, healthy and enjoying life.

We've gone through quite a bit, my family and i. mum and dad mostly (hardy has his own stories to tell, but yeah..) we've gone through different "dramas" many, many times before. i think we got better and better in handling the situation. we cant change others, so there is no point of prolonging the issue and pointing fingers. we focus on what we have now in our hands and use that to make us happy. i'm glad i'm able to see mum and dad happy here, at this part of the world with us, where both their grandsons are. my sister and i are grateful beyond words.

At times, it can get a little off balance too! but it certainly helps to have your other half reminding you once in a while! Most people dont believe this, but everything in this world is enough for everyone. you choose your paths. you choose which door to open and then you make your journey. i trully utterly hope everyone (including us) would find some balance in their lives and have plenty of love to give.

A whole new journey awaits. its been a pretty crazy but exciting month for hardy and i. very very grateful and thankful for such opportunities. i hope that we wont lose that balance and love and be really thankful with what we have wherever we are. i wish to give more as well. more love, and more happiness, more balance wherever we may be.

Lets all find the balance, give love and living our lives happy...

Monday, 9 November 2009

The Move

Last couple of weeks have been a very very emotional week for me. its been pretty full on. a whole lot of thinking, discussions, planning and weighing... and so we decided to drive france for the week last week, just for a short get-away.

Apart from what we're going through, remember my next door neighbour John and Angelie? well, they've finally sold their house after 30 years. the 1st of this month, they said their goodbyes to their beloved house and the beautiful neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood is what made us bought our current house. an open space in front of our house, a small community football stadium nearby, a lake walking distance, a playgroud and of course the quietness and the friendliness of most the neighbours.

It was what John wanted before he passed away last christmas - to move his workshop, garage and home all at one place. their new home is absolutely gorgeous, everything's new and plenty of space.

The whole family's been absolutely wonderful to us. more than wonderful in fact. i love them with all my heart. they've been an incredible support to us and we have so much love for them. it was very very sad to see them leave. leaving behind lots of memories but i'm very sure that there's plenty of good things to come for them.

The last day before they handed the keys over, i managed to take some shots of their house. i promised angelie i'll make a photobook for her. that house means a lot to her and the boys. i'm thrilled she's fond of the idea. we said our goodbyes and angelie being angelie, always showers us with gifts. she came over with beautiful arrangement of lilies for us. i cried as she drove off pass our house that evening...

Its not the same anymore. i know i shouldnt dwell on it too much but i miss having their cars next door, i miss hearing aidan run towards the window to waive at angelie and the boys everytime they pass by... i miss having chats in between our compounds... i suppose i need to get used to it, and move on!

Change sometimes can be hard. a move is a big thing. especially for someone like me, a sentimental softy. for some, its difficult to let go of things, especially when you dont know what's on the other side (yet). for some others, it'll be thrilling, a whole new adventure. there'll be a lot of concerns, too many questions that needs answering and experiencing. your gut feeling must be a good one, just like before we decided to purchase our home here (eventhough it was a very very old house with tonnes to do, but it felt so good and so right). its best to put both feet on the ground and try not to think too much on the rewards and remunerations (although it looks bloody good) while we pen down important thoughts and concerns to bring forward, weigh every possibility, the plus and the minuses and plan on how we would like to live our lives with the changes. i mumble too much...

Anyway, John would have been so proud of his family. he must be smiling now.

I pray for the best, for them and for us all.

Its lovely to be back at home, our sweet home after one whole week in france. washing's all done and now i'm left with loads of ironing.
p.s: thank you SO much for the love and lovely loving wishes for us and especially for aidan. sending you all our love, always..

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Dear Aidan

21st September 2009

I love you with all my heart.
I adore you and everything that you say and do.

I am in awe of you.
I am ever so proud of you.

You make me smile, beam with pride with everything you do, how you play and sing, and how you think.

I am the luckiest person to be given this responsibility.

You are loved tremendously, with all my heart.

You have grown in me and with me.

I believe in you and your endless possibilities. dream big and reach for the stars. you can be absolutely anything and i wish only the best and all the good things for you.


When passing a cake shop/bakery a week before your birthday 21st September 2009, close to 6pm.

You said to me, "mama, we ga naar daar" (in your broken dutch pointing to the bakery with one hand while holding my hand on the other.)
I then replied, "the shop's closing aidan its almost 6, we'll go in some other time k? lets just
look from the window to see what they've got"
We moved to the window and gazed at each cake in slow motion...
"mama, ni cake aidan?" (you asked me in your mengechek tone)
I then said, "tak... bukan..."
After a long pause, you then leaned against the window and pointed at the other one.
"yang ni?" (hoping i'd say yes, that's the one)
"pon bukan. its a sample cake. it belongs to the shop"
You then took another step closer to the 3rd cake.. (there were more than 8 along the window!)
"kijk mama, dora!............ ni cake aidan?"
"aidan nak cake?" (silly mama for asking!)
"nak!?!" (you looked up to me full with hope)
"do you want me to bake one for you?" (i planned to make you one, i even bought a special tray for it!)
"aidan nak yang ni.....nak yang ni please....." (you pointed at the cake on the truck in a very very slow and sad voice)
"ok.. we'll get you a cake next week for your birthday k?"

The next day when you were at school, i went to the cake shop and ordered the one that you wanted. it was that cake ontop of a long truck with cars underneath. it costs 40 euros. 5 days later we then went to pick up the cake. just you and i. and the expression on your face was priceless when you saw your cake all ready with your name on it. your eyes lit up and i could see all your teeth when you looked up and smiled at me.

We headed to the car, happily. I opened the door for you and you hopped onto your seat. i then put on your seatbelt and you grabbed my hand and clutched and hugged it and said "sayang mama". and of course i then cried kissing your forehead. i'd do and pay anything to make you happy (within my means of course!).

Hope you've enjoyed your parties. we know you enjoyed blowing the candles on your cake and playing with the truck. we really enjoyed your cake! thank you for making me the happiest and luckiest mother to have you in her life.

Happy 3rd Birthday Aidan. no words can express how much i love and adore you. let's live now and look forward to many many good, happy, exciting and meaningful birthdays to come!

I love you with all my heart, (and so does papa!)
mama xxx

Sunday, 30 August 2009


There's just something about weddings. we planned our trip back to malaysia specially in time for one special wedding -my cousin's. i miss weddings. i miss the "kecohness", the voices of so many people getting involved with everything, i miss coming up with ideas for favors and such, i miss the smell of fresh flowers and new carpets.. i miss helping, i miss them all. although it can be a little bit too much at times, with wedding invites almost every week especially during school holidays (if you're back home). but after not attending a malay wedding for 4 years, you tend to miss it. it was certainly nice to be part of one. so just imagine how excited i was!

It was also our son's first malay wedding experience! a chance for him to meet everyone. i was very, VERY excited for him! we have loved meeting EVERYONE at the wedding. it was just a nice feeling to get to meet everyone again, the hugs and kisses, sharing a giggle and some laughters.. made it all worth it. it made me feel loved, very much loved.

The mother of the bride helped us a lot during our wedding. she really did. her presense, her laughter, her effort, her time, her smiles and her support meant a lot to me, my sister and most of all my mum. i've enjoyed the build up to my wedding so much thanks to her and the rest of the gang! i can never repay what she and the others did but will always be thankful for their neverending love and concern and help during that time. in fact, i've enjoyed the pre wedding days more than the wedding reception itself (although my nikah day was something really special!).

My cousin's wedding was a beautiful one. a wedding every girl would dream of! it was full of fresh flowers, you can even smell them from the road, the food was excellent, the crowd was a cheerful and happy one, the bridesmaids looked stunning in their dresses and the bride looked absolutely amazing, and most importantly, everyone was happy. any newlyweds would be lucky to have all these..


Weddings- they can either bring people together, much closer then before, or in rare cases, they can pull you apart.

Weddings- you can really see people's true colours..

One example, just one example- mine. my wedding. it had brought one person closer to our family. and those close friends and familes got closer. and sometimes, it doesnt really go your way. you cant have it all. there will bound to be "kecik hati" and "merajuks".. some will not show their actions/reactions but some will.

My mother has never cried how she cried that day on my reception day. she didnt deserve it, and neither did i. but i suppose elders being elders, we'd still have to respect them. how did we deal with it? we just think of all the others who love and care about us, and concentrate on being happy with what we have, at that every moment. and who helped us during that time? these wonderful warm loving, sincere people, some whom are friends but i'm ever so proud to call them family...

I guess what i've learnt from this is sometimes with all the "kecohness", you have to just sit back and witness, appreciate and feel the love at that moment. that very moment. glad i've managed to capture some of those moments on camera! i'm really happy that my cousin's wedding went smoothly and everything went well.. we had a wonderful time with everybody and hope to be together again... soon...

I know its a long.. LONG way to go, but driving home from my cousin's beautiful union, i cant help but to think of my son's wedding. how will it be... will he get his way, or will we as parents get ours! i hope, and i really REALLY hope that he'll grow up knowing his roots, where he comes from. i hope he knows the meaning and the difference between adat and adab and most importantly i hope he respects it. both hardy and i are very sensible and practical people, i just hope it wont be too much of a headache! and like most parents, we hope and pray our kids will marry the one person, who will love him and treasure him with all her heart and they will be very happy and be blessed with all the good things in life.

Dont you just love weddings?!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

After Nearly 4 Years

We decided that this year would be THE year. the year we'd go back to Malaysia. Hardy and i left Malaysia almost 4 years ago, almost right after we got married. our wedding day was also the day we said goodbye to all of our family and friends. we left so many things behind.
I left Malaysia with the feeling of wanting to start a new life. completely new. a lot of things happened a couple of years prior to the wedding (and even during my wedding!). there will
always be a crowd of people that you'd want to avoid having contact with (i'm sure most of you'd share the same feeling too if you know what i had to go through), and all i wanted was to have a happy, healthy, good and balanced life with my husband and my family.

I will not speak on my husband's behalf. but like most people, we all had our past.

It was our chance. our chance to lead a new life together and so we left the country with only the good intentions (and with just a couple of suitcases). and after nearly 4 years, its time to go back home for a visit. yes of course i was all excited. i was so looking forward to eating thosai, satay and nasi dagang! but if i may be honest, i was more nervous than i was excited.

I was sad to leave our home, our comfortable, calm routine behind for 5 long weeks. i was nervous of the long flights, how will Aidan be on the plane... how would some people react towards us, will they welcome us or will they just ignore (not that we've done anything wrong!). i was nervous. happy but nervous. i didnt know what to expect (silly, i know!) but i hoped for the best.

Flight was good. it was our first time travelling with Emirates. everybody was very friendly and the inflight entertainment was first class! Aidan enjoyed himself and all of us really enjoyed the food. those beautiful stewardess all wanted to kiss Aidan but he was so shy.. only one managed to kiss him on his cheek! Aidan didnt sleep at all during our first half of the flight. we treated him to a cold icy drink at Dubai airport's starbucks during transit, and just before the plane took off to Singapore, he dozed off!

I remember crying as the plane took off from Dusseldorf. and i remember holding Hardy's hand as soon as we landed in Singapore, again crying. it was this one feeling that i just cannot describe. we left Malaysia with just a couple of suicases almost 4 years ago, and now we're back together with our son!

A lot has changed. but some havent changed even a bit. the roads have been broadened. new buildings, we also saw some old familiar shops.. still there.. and as we sat in the car with my trustable and wonderful nephew Faizal telling me all the changes in JB, in my heart, i was praying - i just hope some people have changed for the better...

We reached my parents house and that picture of them welcoming us to their new lovely home will forever be in my heart. always. both with open arms running towards us and the look on their faces was priceless. it was just way so special.

We hugged and we kissed. and then it was my turn to hug mum. she then broke down. she broke down like i have never seen before. rebah is the malay word for it. i then knew something was wrong but i also knew she was so happy to see us. a relief. i was just so happy that i was at the right place, at the right time- with my parents.

Dramas. of course we'd expect dramas and all. both our families had a few dramas going on! we had hoped it wouldnt be too much. but then again, we could only hope. how we just wish it will all end so that everybody can grow and live happy lives! i know its not that simple for some but trust me, if you want your life to be simple, it CAN be simple. during the course of 5 weeks, we had heard and come to know of so many unpleasant news- fights, arguments, sickness, divorces... some are beyond us. then it all got to me. it was a bit overwhelming. all a little bit too much. but we handled everything our way. the calm and quiet way.

The people. one of the main reasons why Malaysia is Malaysia (if you know what i mean!). i used pray wanting to have a life away from some people, after what they did to me and my parents. i guess God heard my prayers! scarry! some are still as before, ever so caring and welcoming. some have surprised me, some really moved me.. while some was just the same 'ol, same 'ol. we cant do much but to pray that they'll change for the better.

Most of our time in Malaysia was with the people that we love and care. 5 weeks on paper seems like a pretty long time. but trust me, it wasnt all that long! i didnt manage to see all my friends (hope they'd understand). but the ones that we managed to meet have left us with such a big impact (some better than others!). and so i've decided to write not just on our routes in Malaysia, but also about the people and what i've learnt from them.

Aidan's first trip to a pasar malam in JB while holding a malaysian flag,
Aidan with his headphone watching inflight entertainment (Dusseldorf-Dubai)
Aidan was kissed! (Dubai-Singapore)
Reunied- Aidan met opa and oma- a picture of pure bliss!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Going Places!

We have been going places indeed! we just love to travel! i'm ever so grateful for this opportunity, to get to see places and meet people, and open up our eyes to other cultures. there's a malay saying-"jauh perjalanan, luas pemandangan" which is SO true (only if you have an open mind on things and able to accept and/or adapt!).

I pick up a lot of things when i travel. most of them touches me, some very deeply.

Recently we went back to our home country Malaysia after 4 years of being here in holland. there was never a dull moment on our malaysian trip!

Sometimes when you keep snapping photos intending to blog, you tend to get carried away and not enjoy the moment. as much as i love hearing each and every click on my camera, freezing those moments, and as much as i love writing, i always take the time to sit down and just let the moment sink in me for a bit. i shall share only the ones with stories and that has left me with great impact.

A lot of things happened when we're back. i think i've got a few to share... i've decided to go on with the blog after a very long silence. i'm going to write on how i see things, and not what others might want to read. i write not to please, nor am i here to boast. i think i'm quite done with what other people say and think! my niat is clear.

We're now back in Holland! it's SO GOOD to be home! i'm still doing some unpacking, downloading a few hundred more photo (i can honestly cry looking at every single one of them!) we're now back into our routine and enjoying some well deserved 'calmness' (if you know what i mean!)

Do take a peep once in a while! :) We'll write on our trips... my take on it.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Looking Back

How often do we smile looking back at the things we've said and done? its surely nice to laugh about it sometimes. some will remain unpleasant, i must admit, but lets leave all those behind, chucked at one corner and stamped "done and dusted"!! some are happier moments.

The most important thing is to think of happy things, happy thoughts, create new beautiful memories and cherish them always!

I've been feeling nostalgic lately.. been looking at most of our old photos, photos since we got here and then i saw this one photo! and i just had to share this with you!

It was quite difficult to adjust ourselves when we first got here (or maybe it was just me.. hardy went off a flying start). the first month we learnt dutch from the supermarket! looking at everything, reading all the labels, trying to put everything all in our heads... we found some common names, some quite similar to english like rijst (rice), boter (butter) and a few others. some malay/indonesian words as well kitjap (kicap) and sate is sate, bami (mee/noodles).. it wasnt all that difficult. some were completely different - knooflook (garlic), champignon (mushroom)...

One day, hardy and i decided to try another supermarket. not the one we normally go- Albert Heijn. we went to Aldi instead. Aldi is a discount supermarket where their stuff are priced lower. they dont decorate or line the items on the shelves. they are all on pallets and in boxes.

So off we were with our trolly, to scout for some stuff and see what was new at Aldi. i saw a white clear bottle, with white liquid in them, plenty of them on the pallets, each labelled "AZIJN". i said to hardy, "ok, we need some mineral water... lets get a few"... hardy pointed to the bottles and said "ok, lets get these!" he then added 2 to our trolly and after a few steps, i turned back and said "i should drink more, ambik lebih lah!". added another 2 and off we went... paid for the stuff and went next door - to Albert Heijn.

We got some veges, eggs, bread and milk. we walked passed the aisles and saw some herbs and spices. and next to them were these clear bottles of white water, marked similar to the ones we had just bough at Aldi - AZIJN! hang on.. why didnt they place the mineral water at the drinks section? hardy then said "i think we just got ourselves 4 big bottles of vinegar!!"

Lucky we didnt drink them!

Hardy says i'm naive. i can be quite gullible sometimes. there was this one time, we bought ourselves a kebab each and stopped next to River Maas. sat in the car while enjoying the view. there were a few boats parked by the side. it had a sign. the sign said "COFFEESHOP". i saw a lot of people walking into the boat and said to hardy "this place must serve good coffee! so far more than 10 people walked into the boat dah! maybe we should go minum after this". hardy laughed and said "do you know what coffeeshop is here in holland?" well, i know that coffee shop sells coffee that's for sure!

He then puts his hand on my cheek and said "aallaaaaa sayanng!" and had this huge grin which turned into a huge giggle! coffee shop here is a place where people smoke marijuana! my eyes then went wide open and so was my mouth!!! "REALLY?!?! i didnt know!!!"

I know there's a lot of it here. i know its legal here. but i didnt know they had shops for it! so open!

Well, now i know! now, everytime when i see the shop sign "coffeeshop", i smile! i'm much smarter now you know! ;) haha... really!

I smiled... smiled looking back at all those mements and pictures. hope my son will smile at everything just as sweet as this when he looks back at all the things he said and done, later in life!

Friday, 20 March 2009


Hardy's closet filled with fresh, crisp shirts!

And look who's been playing with Oma's beads!!

Look who's been reading and keeping him company!

Yes, oma and opa are here! I now have a couple of loving, gentle extra pair of hands and watchful eyes!

We celebrated my dad's birthday yesterday (read here if you want to see what i did for him). and now off for a short early spring break to Mossel, Germany. here's sending you guys warm wishes, plenty of fun and laughter and tonnes of happiness. have a lovely beautiful weekend everyone!


Saturday, 7 March 2009

Understood Circumstances

I've been meaning to write. and that's the truth.

It was such a roller coaster late last year and towards the beginning of this year. the 3 of us are fine and healthy. alhamdulillah. but there are just certain things that really affected me and made me think, ponder for a little while. 

Its so easy to sit down and write when you're angry, upset and hurt. best is to keep a journal, and NOT an online journal where everyone can read your thoughts! it will all then be a different story and i will only generate bad karma, bad vibes and create netagivities. most people use their blogs to let go of some steam. i dont intend to do that. and so i just had to wait till i'm in the right state of mind before i start typing again. i kept myself busy in the meantime, busy with all my crafty bits, taking it up to another level insyaallah, and taking care of my family. you see, this blog is quite personal. this blog is very close to my heart. so i thought i'd better wait and heal myself first. then write. hoping it will all make sense later..

Most of us have gone through quite a bit in life. i'm not going to compete with any of you on that. my fair bit in life had taught me to hold back in a lot of things. i hold back on replying to rude remarks, i hold back when there's a confrontation. i hold back when theres a need to shout and cry. sometimes its good. sometimes its unhealthy. depends on the situation, really.

A lot of things happened recently. and i just had to hold back.

I can get affected when people dont understand our situation. petty, i know. oh well... you cant expect anything out of anyone. you see, i've been taught by a lot of situations, life situations that whenever something happens, it all happens for a reason. always. and before you blame others, take a look at yourself first, or at least the whole picture.

It is so easy to blame others, in other words, it's so easy to blame us. i just feel that one needs to look at the broader picture before 
one point fingers at others. one needs to know the entire full story before one could conclude what type of person the other one is. one needs to look at themselves first before blaming others. one has got to stop playing with sympathy cards and start living life, and be happy with what they have, and be happy with what others have. life is so so much than just blaming people, so that you can get away with things. life is so so much more than what happened in the past. life is what you have now, in your hands. its about living it now.

Circumstances have changed us.
We are now married.
Married isnt just living together. marriage is an institution. a sacret union between two. marriage is sharing, loving, caring, relying, trusting and everything else in between. everyone should resepct and honour and protect that. i am not just zaza. i am a wife and with that comes a lot of responsibilities as well. i've learnt some, and i will continue learning...

Circumstances have changed.
Our priorities are much different than before we were married.
We are now a family. we want and wish only the 
best things for our family. we want out son to grow up with values, strong values which comes from solid roots. we want him to be loved, sincere genuine love. any parent would protect their family with all their might. if one thinks we've turned dull and boring, well it's your shout. our priorities have changed. we're no longer enjoy the single life we once had. we now think of our families and our responsibilities. if that's what they call boring, i suppose we are then. but we're comfortable and happy with this pace of life. everyone moves and grows according to time. 

Circumstances have changed us.
We now live here. unfortunately for some, away from them.
 us being here unfortunately means things will be slightly difficult for them. sadly, some are not so encouraging as others.

Circumstances have changed.
And some people just refuse to accept and respect that.

But beneathe all that, i am still me. and Hardy is still Hardy, i'm certain. i am still the girl that everyone used to know. i am still very much grounded. i am still that malay girl who wears her favourite blue tana lawn baju kurung at home doing her chores and stuff. i still speak malay to my friends, i still remember where i come from, my roots are still very strong and i intend to keep it that way. the only difference is we are now wiser and we can see what happend in the past quiet clearly now and better ourselves.

Some people have the wrong impression of me. some people blame me instead of those circumstances. i suppose i've come to terms with it. well, i dont blame them. i just sympathize with them for not knowing the whole story and refuse to take the good in everything. i am living my life. grateful and thankful with every bit that i have.

Back when i was small, i've always been taught to be "pandai pandai". mum and dad would remind me ALL the time. when someone comes to our house, make yourself useful, go to the kitchen and make them drinks. "pandai pandai" pergi dapur buat air. you dont need to be told. 

Pandai pandai in english... it means... well - understood.

When something falls, pick it up, without having to be asked to. "pandai pandai" gi kutip, tak payah kena suruh.

If you see a mess in the living room, "pandai pandai" kemas. clean it up wihout having to be told to.

When you go visiting, "pandai pandai" bawak diri pergi rumah orang. behave when you're at someone else's home.

Now that i'm a wife and a mother, they'd always say "pandai pandai" jaga suami ngan Aidan. Take care of both of them..

Get where i'm heading? well, today, i've been told that not everybody knows the term and knows how to "pandai pandai".  do you? ;)

I practise a lot of "pandai pandai"!! :) when i make a bowl of maggi curry for Hardy, i pandai pandai put a tissue next to it, just incase his nose gets watery!

When i see Hardy's bag downstairs and i know he wants it upstairs, i "pandai pandai" bring it upstairs for him. doing him a favour so that he doesnt have to carry it himself.

But being too overly "pandai pandai" sometimes doesnt help too! haha!! you just need to know the boundaries. and that's very very important.

Now, i have to "pandai pandai" brush all those things off. and "pandai pandai" deal with it and not be affected by it anymore!!

Life is full of challenges. some gets them early, some will face them slightly later in life. some are fortunate than others while some struggling to deal with it. its important to be a pair. a pair of husband a wife. where both compliment each other. hardy says i think with my heart most of the time. i think he's right. its nice to get a balance when one has a better half.

Thank you. thank you for checking up on me. for all your genuine love and concern, for those emails asking me to write. next post is going to be a cheerful one, promise! sorry for the very long silence. i just had to "go away" for a while and live life!

Always, i thank you for reading. and as always, sending you all my love! promise it will be a cheerful post next time!

Monday, 5 January 2009

A Goodbye to a Good Man

The remaining quarter of 2008 passed by pretty fast, dont you think so? december's been pretty hectic for me and the last couple of weeks of december was an emotional one.

I prepared a few gifts for our closest friends for Christmas. some i managed to get them out, and some i didnt. i should really be much more organized next year.. but one special gift, and a special wish was specially for our next door neighbour, the de Vries.

Their house was so quiet since i was stuck indoors with the bug. i did notice that there was less action goin on, no cars going in and out. the blinds in their living room are all the time shut. we normally waive to John from the car or when coming home from ourwalks. but the shutters were down. John and Angelie havent been out walking as well. we havent waived nor have we been saying hellos to any of the de Vries for quite a while.

I have bought another 4 packets of lemongrass for John. knocked on their door but there wasnt an answer. i could sense that something was wrong. a couple of days just before christmas, Rob, their youngest son had told us that John was brought to Leuven Hospital for some complications almost a week ago. the same time i was down with my flu bug.

My spirits went stright down. i went all quiet.

As usual, every christmas eve, we'd always get something for them. we told Rob that we'd pass it for his next visit, which was suppose to be on christmas day. he said that John would want to rest that day (on the eve) and ask for the boys to come on christmas day. we heard them going out that night and didnt see them coming home till the next morning.

On Christmas morning, we woke up and checked if any of their cars are still at home. Hardy went quickly to their house to send the presents to the de Vries. Hardy came home with a numb and sad look on his face. he then broke the news to me gently.

Just after midninght, in the early mornings of Christmas day 25th of December 2008, our dear neighbour, our good friend John de Vries passed away.

I couldnt control my tears.

He was a good man. a very good man. he fought hard. the last month passed by so quickly. and the last time i was with John i remembered we were laughing and smiling. that's how i want to remember him, always. he had been incredibly nice to us. he had been more than welcoming to us. he was like a father figure and he'd always on the look out for us. i will always remember meeting him for the very first time. he was one of the reasons why we bought the house. John was one of the kindest, nicest, warmest, bravest man that i know. we love him dearly and we will miss him and his jokes so so much.

It must be hard on Angelie. i can only imagine how she's feeling. she's been such a rock since John's diagnosis. i honestly, trully admire her. she still smiles her normal smile. she still cares about other things. she's been so so strong throughout. she's unbelievable.

When you're new to a country, you'd want that sense of comfort. you'd want to be and feel safe, you'd want to have the right company, trustable people around you, you'd want to be welcomed. i felt every bit of that from John and his family. i feel so honoured to have gotten to know him.

I'm a very emotional person, and i dont take these kindda news too well sometimes. especially to those who have left such a big impact in my life. seeing his van next door is still difficult for me. Aidan calls out for John everytime he sees the van and everytime he calls for John, i'd cry. i'd have a lump in my throat everytime we mention him. he was such a good man.

Last couple of days, Angelie dropped by. and just before she left, she said something that will always make me smile, and smile even wider when i think of John. she said John loved us. loved us very much.

Here's to John, thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts for your beautiful friendship, support and love. you've been nothing but wonderful to us. we will always remember the things you have said and stories you have shared with us. your stories, your jokes, your smile and our fond memories together will always be in our hearts. we will miss you.

I just didnt have the mood to blog since. i havent even been checking my emails. i wanted to put up a post wishing happy holidays to all but that and with some other news i needed to feel better first. I sincerely hope and pray that all of us will have a better year, filled with lots of happiness, joy, good, fun and fond memories and of course good health. thanks guys for reading. i'll upload some winter photos for us to smile soon! i'm off to get meself a box of tissues now and enjoy our white scenary form our window!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

R & D



I've had plenty of those lately. plenty of rain for the past week. not much fun but i was stuck indoors anyway! i've had plenty of rest (wait till you read 'D') and plenty of run! run? well, Run is my favourite song this winter, undoubtedly. the tune, the tone is just right (for me) to listen to it again and again and again in this gloomy weather with me being 'D'!



Those 3 are the reasons why i've been quiet. it is absolutely dreadful and at times, yes, i wish i could run from it all. the bug seems to be spreading really fast and to almost everybody! i told myself that i cant let it run in me but it did somehow despite my strong fighting will. i was flat, and poor Aidan had to make do with his monday and tuesday without any painting, crafting, racing and peekabooing with mama. hardy was away but i managed to pull myself back up, especially when you hear "sayang mama"..

I'm getting there. i'm getting stronger. now RECOVERING AND DELIGHTED!

Iwill leave you all with this year's winner of the x factor (the show i've been following every year since Will Yong won it!). her single's definitely gonna be a christmas hit! what a story for this girl! no more x factor nights from this week on *sigh*....

Alexandra Burke - single
Alexandra Burke - my favourite week of hers

My boys are still sleeping. it's half past seven in the morning and yes, i'm up! it is still dark outside and guess what? its raining. dont think we'll be having a white christmas this year. i'm late on our christmas cards, i'm going to continue writing and hopefully will get more out today. i'd better start on those cards before Aidan wakes up!


Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Whiter Days

It's pretty cold here. we woke up to some snow showers, temp was -1 this morning and then i came up to 3c but it felt like it was still -1! very thick frost on our car windows, it is certainly winter!

This was the amount of snow we had a couple of weeks back. certain parts reached up to 6 inches. everything was white, it was simply beautiful. hardy and i went out for a snowball fight and we almost slipped several times. who won? yeah.. yeah.. and so he won... we came back feeling cold but content!

Anyway, i've just had a beautiful day with my son today. he's been incredibly good since Hardy left on his business trip last week. and so i've rewarded him with a trip to toys r us. we love browsing! we didnt get anything though. i'm currently teaching him how to browse! haha... we went on those mickey rides, aeroplane rides... about 5 of them all together. and strangely, he didnt want me to put any money in! i think he's beginning to have some dutch qualities in him! (which is not bad at all!)

We did this slightly before dinner and it is now up on our front windows so that the first thing papa will see when he gets out from the cab is his son's work, welcoming him home. as usual, everytime when hardy's away, it's always a good mother and son bonding session/period. and i couldnt be prouder.

I've just put him to bed and just before i kissed him goodnight, i whispered to him, thank you aidan, for a beautiful day! i had soooooo much fun. and what did he say? he said "welcome". my heart melted and i was full of awe.

Thank you, thank you all for the anniversary wishes. i shall now get my beauty rest and warm hardy's socks as he's coming home in the morning! great! now i have someone to cuddle and keep me warm in this freezing weather! we so need to go out for our anniversary dinner.. or perhaps i should cook something special for him.. (on second thoughts...nah... he had too much for the past week! we'll go out! this time my shout!)

Sleep tight everyone... i'm gonna watch pride and prejudice for the hundredth time and will probably cry for the hundredth time...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Better Half

The past 3 years have been simply wonderful. it's been a journey. an amazing, beautiful journey. the things that we've been through together since we got here 3 years ago have pulled us much much closer. (boy! have we been through a lot!)

I've learnt more and more to be a wife without losing my own self. i've learnt how to love even more. i've learnt how to appreciate even more. i've learnt how to tolarate even more. i've learnt to be patient even more. i've learnt to share and smile even more. i've learnt when to step in and when to just sit back and observe. i've learnt to be even more supportive and understanding. i've learnt to be more positive. i've learnt to be more forgiving. i've learnt to be much calmer. i've learnt to take things lighter sometimes and be less serious. i've learnt to be stronger. all this, with still being myslef.

I've learnt more and more of the term 'better half'.

Now, i dont just plan to say it, i plan to live up to it. i shall try with all my heart and all my might!

Here's to us. 3 amazing, wonderful years anyone could ever wish for. he is indeed my better half. 

Still rooted, grounded..

Still wangi...

Still as bubbly and sparkly...

Still as sweet...

... and still solid

I'm now gonna wipe my tears and wish you all, all the love in the world. for i truly am grateful, thankful beyond words for this one. (H, get your ass back here quick! ;) safe trip home.. love you more than you can imagine).