Wrapping up 2017

2017 has been nothing short of life-changing events, discovery, growth and full of adulting. In no particular order, these are the most memorable events in 2017 that I never want to forget.

  • I got married!

This is hands-down the most life-changing event ever. Getting married to my best friend is the bestest feeling and I can still remember vividly how happy I was on that day to finally tie the knot after 8 years of courtship. Can’t believe our anniversary is coming very very soon, because it felt like just yesterday! Where did all the time go..

  • Getting our own rental flat

This is perhaps one of the achievements that I am most proud of, as husband and wife in our first few months of marriage. It was not an easy decision to make, to move out of my in-laws’ place. But with a clear conscience and intention, we did it. We are one family unit now, separate from our parents. And it’s the husband’s nafkah to provide shelter for his family, which is me. Setting up our home in the temporary flat also allowed us to discover more about each other. If you think you will learn more about your spouse only after the wedding and living together, you will discover even more new things about him/her after getting your own house together. We have been living in Boon Lay for 8 months now. As our first ever home, we have made so many memories here even though we still hate the west side. Will never forget this journey of setting up the home, taking in our foster cats, prepping the house for raya, cooking for iftar in ramadhan, hosting our guests, dealing with eccentric neighbours and horrible neighbourhood.

  • The best honeymoon ever

Allah’s plans are indeed the best. After our Hawaii trip was cancelled, we decided to go to New Zealand just one month before the wedding. I know for sure New Zealand is in my bucket list. But to be able to experience this country during a honeymoon instead of a normal holiday, is really the best form of trip I can ever imagine. The highlight was definitely the campervan experience. I realised I have become a more adventurous traveller than I expected and that I can indeed live without a hotel bathtub during my trips.

  • BTO keys

This is no doubt another life-changing event. Mainly because it got us into a 300K debt with the government hahaha. Seriously though, I am beyond happy to be able to secure the best unit I can think of. It is the top floor, has a gorgeous view, 10-15 minutes away from Simpang Bedok, and only 5-10 minutes walk away from my parents’ place. The funniest thing is that this BTO was launched in 2012, when we were both still in uni. And when I saw the BTO under construction, I thought “hmm wouldn’t it be awesome if I could buy a house here, so close to mum” but H and I were still studying and nowhere near talking about house or wedding yet. But we still managed to secure it as a SBF flat last year. Like wow, I really feel like Allah has reserved a spot for us in this BTO. Alhamdulillah.

  • Bintan trip

It was H’s first birthday as a husband. So of course I had to plan a huge surprise. It was more or less an all-expense paid trip for him. Now member tengah panic cos I spoil market for his birthday and he still has no idea what to do for our anniversary in Feb and my birthday in March. Hahahaha. Although it was my first time staying in a resort, I think The Canopi was pretty awesome.

  • H’s career progress

H has been making really good and impressive progress in his new job. He switched teams this year which gave him more responsibilities, and will be embarking on another new journey and milestone again next year, which is even more exciting. I couldn’t be prouder of him. Looks like my road to taitai-hood is underway! Hehehehe

  • Discovering the truth about marriage

I recently saw a youtube video by Sid & Dina Tokio about surviving the first year of marriage, which is so on point! I never really noticed this, but I guess it makes sense for a couple to fight a lot in their first year of marriage. For me, I find that marriage life is like becoming a vampire. Everything feels amplified. We had the worst fights after the wedding than we ever had during our courtship days. But we also laughed the hardest after marriage. If you know he is a loving guy before marriage, you will discover how much more loving he can be after marriage. And same goes for the negative traits. But after awhile, you learn to choose your battles. We used to pick on each other’s small irritating behaviors and create a fight out of it. But now we embrace them more or just be more tolerant because some things are not worth fighting over. Time and energy are just too precious. We also learned that being married to each other also means being “married” to each other’s family, friends, colleagues and everyone else in our social bubble.  Sometimes it’s not as easy as saying person A sucks and has been treating you like shit, so why must we attend his/her wedding? But most important of all, marriage allows us to share our lives together so that when we are happy, we feel happier because we have someone to share our joy with and when we are sad, the sadness doesn’t feel that bad when we have someone to share our sorrows with. The best thing in marriage for me is the companionship, that feels like no other. Nothing can ever provide us with such a wonderful companionship better than a spouse.

  • Our foster cats!

I will never forget our very first experience of having, not one but two cats! Even though it was a very short 6-week stint, my love for cats have increased so much. They are really really natural source of anti-depressants and can instantly lift your mood after a long day. But at the same time, their naughtiness can also drive your blood pressure up after messing up the house and destroying our floor mat and boxes. Will forever remember Arnold and Bernard as our first babies.

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House Bites: Key Collection!!

So H and I finally collected our keys on Tuesday, alhamdulillah! This is probably the longest BTO ever – 5 years!! Yes, it was launched in 2012. But we applied under SBF last year, so we waited for 1.5 years only. We were considered very lucky for getting a super good ballot number and even got a top floor unit, ala ala penthouse yaw!

The key collection process was very smooth because I did my research and settled the fire insurance and SP account opening all online beforehand. The only thing left to do was to sign a bunch of documents, paid our conservancy charges and collect the keys! And the process was over in less than 30 mins.

Then off we go to our house! Continue reading “House Bites: Key Collection!!”

When in-laws come over unexpectedly

So yesterday, H had to pass something urgently to his dad. But instead of just a short meet up, my FIL ended up fetching H, me and my MIL from all our workplace, went for dinner and all 4 of us dropped by our place in Boon Lay for solat Maghrib and Isyak.

Obviously it was all impromptu, so I was panicking silently in my mind the whole time we were on the way to our place, while making faces at H to show my panic cos the house is not in its neatest and cleanest condition at that moment.

Sesungguhnya my MIL has high standards when it comes to cleanliness and keeping the house tidy. But my bags were all over the carpet. Ntuc plastic bags were not cleared away properly. The dining and coffee tables were cluttered with flyers and letters. And did I mention bags? Plastic bags, paper bags everywhere omg. When my MIL rushed for the toilet first thing when she entered, I terus zoom zoom zoom and went through all those clutter like lightning and shoved them into any hidden spots I can find, while she was still in the toilet.

To be honest, it was quite embarrassing but they were polite and didn’t say anything lol. H was initially more nonchalant than me, but after awhile, I spotted him cleaning up some mess when his parents were not looking. Lol tau takpe. Other than the random cluttered items all over the living room, I am so glad the sink was clear of dirty dishes. To be honest, even our bed is not always 100% made up most of the time, but thankfully, H decided to help make the bed and fold the blankets that morning. PHEW.

Sigh, it’s going to take me awhile to get over this trauma. But it’s our first experience, so let this be a strong lesson for us to always keep the house neat and tidy in case of random or sudden and unexpected visitors, no matter how busy or lazy we can be.

Quarter Life Crisis

So H has been working for almost over a year now and I think he is facing a little bit of quarter life crisis. I remember feeling this way when I first started working a few years ago.

Completed my education, got my degree, got a job, settled my loans, 5-year plan on track, got married, now what’s next? I think the mundane routine of going to work and coming home from work every day without anything concrete to look forward to, makes us feel a little bored and we start to wonder what is the purpose of life. Why do we go to work when we hate our jobs? Just for money? For what, other than to survive? To give back to parents? So mainstream. To give back to the community? So cliche. To travel? To start a family? To buy a half a million dollar HDB flat which will never truly be mine because technically we are just renting it for 99 years? What’s the whole purpose of getting up, shower, work, go home, eat, sleep, lepak, berak, do laundry, dry clothes, fold clothes, repeat?

It feels like there is this void in your life, like there’s not enough meaning or fulfilment. And then H said to me, “Shall we have a baby?” Erm……no. It’s not that I don’t want kids lah, but this is obviously not the solution to a quarter life crisis lol.

I was just telling H what I did when I was in his shoes a few years back. I guess it was kinda worse for me back then because while I had already started working, H still had 3 more years to go before graduation. So I had to wait for him. My life felt quite stagnant. Like someone pressed the pause button. So I searched for things to do to occupy my time. Having more financial freedom meant that I had more power to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, as well as things that are out of my comfort zone. So I started signing up for things and classes. I went for zumba. I tried yoga and piloxing. I even signed up for a swimming class and this is probably my proudest recent achievement ever. I never knew how to swim before this, but now I can do the breast stroke even though I’m still a horrible swimmer. I used to have one or two tutions to occupy my time back then too. I also used to attend a class at Darul Arqam religiously (pun intended LOL) for awhile. Basically, I pondered about what would I regret not trying in my life when it is too late. I went for this and that sharing sessions, met new people, made more friends. And life started to feel better and not so mundane after all. But there are still some things I kinda regret not doing, like signing up for that kickboxing class at the ladies gym. I haven’t been to those kind of courses/classes for awhile now because wedding preparations made me busier. But I guess it’s time to start again now, while guiding H on his own personal self-discovery process at the same time lol. Marriage life sometimes kept us occupied with ourselves too much. Like we focus a lot on serving our spouse and continue to shower attention to our parents and families consistently that we may forget about our own personal growth.

Anyway, we’ve been married for 7+ months now, and alhamdulillah we’ve been consistently doing all the things we want to do after the wedding, in terms of kickstarting our new life together. Treated both our families to a nice meal right after our honeymoon. Got a solid health insurance plan for both of us which comes with a rider. Settled reviewing our parents health insurance and make sure they are sufficiently covered so that we don’t have to worry so much since we are both the first child. Researched house designs, hunted for an ID and signed the contract! Now just waiting for our keys in December insyaAllah. Get our own place to stay while waiting for our BTO keys. Had our post-wedding photoshoot at our alma mater, TPJC.  Plans to register for hajj are underway. Started to look up umrah packages too. Still thinking about adopting a cat or two. And last but not least, I have FINALLY started driving lessons! YESSAAA!!

Wife’s Bites: Why We Moved Out

I thought I would write about one of the most common questions we got during raya this year. I moved out of my in-laws’ in May, specifically over the labour day long weekend, after 3 months of marriage. We got a rental flat under HDB’s PPHS scheme. Apparently, this move was quite shocking to most of our closed ones.

Well, I can imagine the kind of things they were thinking. What’s with the sudden decision? Why? Where? Did something happen? It’s so sudden, so something must have happened? For how long? Were they chased out? Are they running as far away from their family as possible? Continue reading “Wife’s Bites: Why We Moved Out”