By the river

July 18, 2020

As I write this, the birds are chirping, interrupted by only my kids shouting “Mommy, Daddy, look at me!”. The sun is shining but balanced by wind blowing softly at us. In front of me, is a calming sight. My kids and husband in the river, admiring the rocks and sand underneath. Gosh, the sound of the water streams is so beautiful and calming. Can life really get any better than this? My heart is full.

Ok, now they’re looking for bugs and shouting that there’s a crocodile. Moment’s over.

We’re at a glamping resort now that the MCO has allowed people to travel but only within the country. My Instagram feed is filled with happy photos of my friends and their families, that put a smile on my face. It’s so nice to see everyone smile again after 3 months of being told to stay home because of the pandemic. It’s almost as if all this happened to teach us to appreciate the moments that matter in life – family. Taught us to reflect, refresh and just recharge.

And now, everyone’s looking to go out and we’re “forced” to discover our country and the beauty it has to offer. And that’s such a good thing! I can’t remember the last time I dipped my feet in a river, or kicked a football! Felt really good, even more so when returned with grins on my kids’ faces. The joys of motherhood.

My husband just smiled at me from the river. He’s so handsome. Ah, the joys of being in love. Grateful that we still have butterflies for each other, even after almost 14 years. Ok now he’s motioning for me to come to the river too. Sorry, not in this fabulous kaftan.

I was here in Tiarasa last weekend with my inlaws for Daniel and Noah’s birthdays. I vlogged the whole thing, can watch here.

We loved it so much that this weekend we brought my parents too. I’m grateful that I am able to spend time with them like this – and for them to spend time with the cucu’s, away from the busy bustling city. You should see my mom, taking pictures of everything (like mother, like daughter). And my dad, fussing if they’ve sanitised the place and whether people here have coronavirus. Balanced parenthood, for sure.

Ah…. I’m soaking in so much happiness and gratitude in this very second. Grateful that God has given this life to us, for all its good and bad that are basically just colouring the canvas of life. I wouldn’t change it one bit.

Ok, Sarah is crying now because she saw a bug. Gotta go.

Again, like mother, like daughter.


quality over quantity

July 4, 2020

Gosh it really is true that you change a little bit when you hit the 3 series. You’re more sure of yourself, you’re more choosy with things, and you’re generally more badass who can see right through fluff. Then there are the unfortunate side of things too – things start to sag, health scares slowly come and it takes more effort to lose weight. I mean, I could lose weight by breathing in my 20s. My 30s don’t offer that health package anymore. There are some 30-something year-olds who do, of course – I don’t like to be friends with those people. #jealous

But one thing for sure is that you start to filter friendships. It’s not because you’re stuck up (although I’m sure a lot would call me that), but it’s because you start to see life in a different perspective. Gone are the days you need to be seen at every event, or you need a photo with that celebrity – all the mingling and social networking was fun in the 20s, but they become a chore now after you’ve realised most of them were wastes of time. I had loads of those especially being in the fashion and business scenes, and I have no regrets though because I really felt like I lived my 20s to the fullest – but now, I’ve grown to become wayyyyy more choosy and I’m no longer apologetic about it.

Life is somewhat different now – work doesn’t get easier as we scale (the opposite, in fact). Family has grown in number and the kids also don’t get easier to manage as they grow up (how come no one told me that?!). Most of us live in our own homes so there’s constant requests for things that need fixing (aircond leak la, fan not working la, internet is down la, gotta call the plumber la). Parents are also getting older and have more health complications now, so our free time have shifted back to them (and honestly, this is true for all my friends too). Husband-wife time gets more scarce so you need to make an effort with planning date nights and all (let’s not remind me of my previous blog post ok?). If you don’t have help, throw in house chores in this mix too. So yeah… more friends? Even if you wanted to… HOW?

As public as I am, I’m actually very private when it comes to friendship. I can be friends with a lot of people, and I’m still the friendly bubbly me at events and stuff (if I even go, haha). I still love hanging out with people whenever I get the chance. But I only have a number of people I really allow into my heart. The need to please everyone reduces as you get older, and it’s super liberating. Quality over quantity – I honestly think this is the healthiest thing when it comes to friendship. Be nice to everyone, but give your all only to a few special ones.

Today is a day filled with fun friend stuff. In the morning, Fadza had his usual morning run with Marissa. (People around the neighbourhood probably think he’s cheating on me with her). Tasha and Seth came along this time. I was supposed to, put on my Adidas pants after Subuh and all. Somehow ended up back in bed before I could put on my top. Fadza took a hilarious photo of me – wearing half kaftan, half Adidas pants, mouth open, legs sprawled out in bed. I shall not share the photo, but basically it read “RUNNING. IS. NOT. HAPPENING. TODAY.”

Anyway, I worked out at home alone (see… I’m a changed woman at 32!) Soon after, they came back with roti canai (all that running and workout went down the drain…) and we had a sinful nice breakfast together with the kids. This happens weekly, but today was the first time I realised how much I appreciate these moments. Simple, happy, weekend moments at 9am.

Then Yusuf and Fadza wanted to race cars go for a relaxing drive with their wives, so we headed up to Janda Baik for lunch. Messaged Toots on the way and she took a spontaneous detour to Janda Baik after lying to her kids that she will just be out for 20 minutes.

That’s why. Want to race race some more. Padan muka, got traffic.

Fast forward an hour later, we were drinking coffee and eating yummy local food at this place called Kopi Ladang and having conversations about life and career and how one should always look fix one’s tudung when taking a corporate photo to be put on the website. Super random, but well, life wisdoms are random.

Spontaneous trips are THE BEST.

Tonight, all of us are gathering again (because we’re clingy) for games night. Kyochon reached out to my marketing team and kindly asked if they could send me some food. (NOTE TO EVERYONE WHO MAKES FRIED CHICKEN: YOU CAN SEND ME FOOD ANYTIME. ANYTIME.) What Kyochon didn’t know was that the marketing team is my best friend who also loves fried chicken, so suddenly they’re now sponsoring dinner for not just me but for my 10 friends too. And suddenly tonight is games night at my place. Marissa is a mastermind, I tell you. Thank you Kyochon, we love you!

Ok I better go shower before my friends come. But basically wanted to pen down my thoughts quickly – I realise if I don’t the momentum dies and by the time I want to write, 5 other life things have popped up. Life is that fast-paced these days. I had a moment today that I feel very grateful for this small group of people I proudly call my best friends. Thank you, God, for somehow uniting our paths along this journey of life.


8 years of marriage

June 29, 2020

There comes a time in your life where your husband will start forgetting anniversaries. You know what to do, ladies… you give him the silent treatment, then when he asks you what’s wrong, you say Nothing followed by more silent treatment. Inside your heart, you’re thinking HOW COULD HE FORGET OUR DAY-HAS HE STOPPED LOVING ME-IS IT BECAUSE I HAVE STRETCHMARKS NOW-HOW DARE HE. Then he will ask again if anything’s wrong. Again, you say “Nothing.” We know the drill.

But then one day down the road, karma will bite you back in the butt because God has a sense of humour. Somewhere, somehow, you will forget one anniversary. And that is the time he suddenly decides to remember it. Oh the amount of gloating you will hear. The tables have turned. WHY. DID. YOU, NOT. SET. A. REMINDER. You will ask yourself.

29 June 2012 was the day I became a Puan. Fadza shook my dad’s hand, gave him 300 bucks and voila I was his. Haha. Gotta say though, till today, that day marked one of the happiest days of my life. (Almost as happy as the day I discovered 3-layer tea. I mean, gula melaka in teh ais? Genius.). 8 years on, there hasn’t been a day I’m not grateful for Fadza in my life and my love for him just grows and grows that I never knew it could grow any more than yesterday. *insert more cheesy stuff. Your friend here needs to redeem herself…*

In the morning, he looked at me all googly-eyed. He woke me up early to pray Subuh and asked if I wanted to have breakfast with him. Awww, I thought. So we went for breakfast, he held my hand so tight, and just looked at me with love as I ate my mushroom pastry. Maybe he has his period, I thought. We got to the office, and he carried all my bags, gave me a kiss on the head and told me he loved me. Like wow, he was SO NICE. He’s always nice, of course, but this time, extra nice and loving. And this continued throughout the day. He said he’s taking me out to a nice dinner and I was like yes I deserve that.

At dinner, we talked, we laughed, we were very much enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly, dessert came and Fadza whipped up his phone to record me. I was thinking awww my husband wants a picture of me in his phone.

Suddenly I saw those 2 words from Mrs Karma that put a hugeeeee grin on Fadza’s face as he held up the phone to my face.

“HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.”

Oh crap.

He wiggled his eyebrows at him. “Someone forgot huh? Can’t believe you forgot!”

I was speechless, jaw just hung out.

“Oh, she forgot!!” the restaurant manager said and laughed.

THANKS MAN.

“Umm….” I said thinking of an alibi really quick. Nothing came to mind.

“Ummm?” Fadza laughed, clearly enjoying this.

“I’M SORRY! Happy anniversary, baby!!” I burst out.

“Mmmm-hmmm,” he said holding out a bag of present for me. Oh shoot, I thought those were a pair of Nike shoes that he wanted to exchange or something.

Dior, the box inside said.

Noooooo. He wasn’t just the only one who remembered, he was also the only one who got us a present. Crap. Double guilt.

I wasn’t even sure if I should be grinning with this bag, or I should show some remorse and not smile so much. Later he say ungrateful. Very the not sure how to act here. Haha.

Let’s just say he “Nothing”-ed me a few times and that I’ve now set a reminder on my phone.

Happy 8 year wedding anniversary, Sayang! I love you so much!!!!!!!! I promise!!!!!!

Next year I won’t forget. K bye. *run*


happy father’s day!

June 21, 2020

Today is Father’s Day so Happy Father’s Day, everyone! I had a very nice bonding time with my own dad today, but will keep that private. This blogpost will be about the other dad – Fadza.

Fadza looked at me yesterday, “So what’s happening tomorrow?”

I look back at him, confused. “What’s happening tomorrow?”

His mouth slightly open, “It’s Father’s Day tomorrow.”

“Err yeah, but you’re not my father….” left him slightly hurt.

Hehe.

Of course I had stuff planned for him – I’m an awesome wife.

Mariam was the first to wake up early and run to her dad. “Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you!” she whispered to him, followed by a huge bear hug from her dad. SO. SWEET. For Mother’s Day earlier this year, the kids scribbled some words on a birthday card they found lying around the house for me. For Father’s Day, Mariam handmade Fadza three cards. Brb, picking up the pieces of my heart on the floor.

Sigh but you gotta admit, this puts a smile on anyone’s face. A father’s love is unmatchable (except by the mother’s… haha KIDDIN! #notreally). This view really does warm my heart though. I hope my kids will grow up and see how much love they had for their dad. Except Sarah, she had more love for marker caps in this photo.

Outside, we had prepared for Fadza a fun activity for Father’s Day – colouring! I ordered it from @eventsbyazzwaa who is super amazing for every occasion.

And then for the ultimate present…..

You should’ve heard his squeal when he saw this. He unwrapped the box so fast and the look in his eyes.. oh my god, the engineering nerd just unleashed out of him. It was so cute. Kinda hot, even, if it weren’t for his sudden high-pitched voice.

“OMG SAYANG THIS IS BEST GIFT EVER!!!!” hugging me so tight.

“I got you a car last year. An actual car.”

But he didn’t hear me anymore.

He went straight to work.

“LOOK AT MY ENGINE OMGGGG!!!!”

He even tried to cancel lunch plans, but thankfully realised soon after that he had to feed his family. As you expected the lunch was really rushed because he had to return to his masterpiece.

Sigh, this photo. Look at all the smiles.

MOTHER’S DAY GOT OR NOT THIS KIND OF PHOTO?! NO GOT. WHY?! BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T TAKE ANY.

But I forgive you.

Because you’re an amazing human being. Thank you for being an amazing dad to our three children. The way you love them, the way you care for them, the way you discipline them – you do it so naturally that you inspire me everyday to be a better parent. May they grow up to cherish you for all that you’ve done for them, including the diaper changes at 4am that you will continue to do for Sarah. Thank you, my love, Happy Father’s Day.


what daniel and mariam learned this ramadhan

June 20, 2020

“This Ramadhan, I will maximise each moment and reallllyyyyyy make full use of my time,” followed by a list of things like full terawih, full fasting, full quran, full Islamic lectures, full everything! If can do extra, that goes on the list also – extra everything! Because that’s not enough pressure, I’ll add more things that my body laughs at because it’s self-aware,  like “wake up at 4am to cook for the family” and “not buy too much from the Ramadhan bazaars.” Basically, I have really high expectations of myself that I always end up disappointed with myself that I didn’t fulfil any of these in full. Ramadhan is always our peak period at work, so a lot of the past Ramadhans have been filled with work, and less with the Quran. I’ll always leave Ramadhan with a guilty “I’m going to do better next Ramadhan!”

So this year, I vowed to set goals that were more realistic. Just two, I told myself: to not miss any terawih prayer and to learn the meaning of one surah a day,

And it worked.

We took a selfie after every terawih prayer to commemorate this very different “date night” hehe. And it makes me smile looking at this. Who knew solat together could feel so romantic.

And as for the one surah a day, I didn’t complete it, but I still feel super good about gaining some knowledge of the Quran that I never knew before. I share my summaries of each surah on my instagram highlights in case it’s useful to anyone.

I dare say I had the best Ramadhan this year, thanks to coronavirus (weird to say that, but true!). The fact that we were all home made it easier to pray more and to read Quran more, and I didn’t have to take off hijab or take off makeup etc etc. Lame excuse I know, but it’s the reality being a Muslim woman. Anyway, enough with sounding preachy – conclusion is, BEST RAMADHAN EVER.

We asked the kids what they learned this Ramadhan.

Daniel first, since this year he fasted for a few days. First day he did it, I vlogged it.

Daniel: I learned that there are people are out there who cannot afford  food. And I got to feel how they feel.

Me beaming like a proud mom: That’s awesome, Daniel! 

Daniel: But I also learned that after a while you get used to fasting, so being hungry is ok. 

SLAP. FOREHEAD.

MISSING. THE. POINT. DANIEL.

Let me try with Mariam then.

Me: Mariam, what did you learn this Ramadhan? 

Mariam, thinking hard….: Hmm… Oh! I learned how to unbox Ramadhan gifts.

SIGH.

PARENTING FAIL.

I WILL TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR.

Also, thank you to all those who sent us Raya packages! You guys are so so sweet! Mariam and I did an unboxing video,  apparently Mariam’s only lesson this Ramadhan, sigh.