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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Family Research

Although H and I are obviously taking our own sweet time to start a family, we have been low-key doing our own research to find out how life will be like when we have a kid. Every family and couple is different, but we have been trying to talk to as many people as possible, ask them as many questions as possible, stalk them on social media as much as possible etc just to find out how life has changed in terms of finance, husband-and-wife dynamics, living arrangements, childcare arrangements, when pregnancy/baby happens.  Just in case.

So far, it’s pretty scary.

One of the things we always talk about when discussing about the future is whether I am going to continue working, or quit my job and stay at home. Thankfully, H does not really expect me to be a housewife, but prefers me to have an ambition career-wise and to be able to work towards my goal. Continue reading “Family Research”

Sons vs. Daughters

The other day H and I were talking about something related to marriage and kids. I have a 24-year-old brother and H has a 24-year-old sister. We were just casually mentioning how both our siblings are still single and do not have a proper career yet although both have finished school, so they are nowhere near settling down and stuff. And H mentioned how my parents are not too worried about my brother not getting married any time soon, but his mum is more worried for his sister because she’s had no luck finding a partner so far. Continue reading “Sons vs. Daughters”

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: Grateful Parents ;)

Just after my last post, H came home last Friday night after meeting his bros and shared with me what they talked about over supper. They were catching up, and H was updating them about things that have been going on in our still relatively new married life. One of the latest updates is that we have chosen an ID and signed the contract! (More on that in a separate post) During the conversation, H’s friends commented on how we had our life “all figured out”.

I mentioned that H and I are one of the first among our friends to get married, get a house etc. But I was taken aback by that comment. No, we are definitely very far from having it “all figured out”. But thanks for saying that out loud. Because it made me realise how ungrateful I was. Amazing how right after I ranted out and complained about my life openly, Allah sends me a message in the form of someone else’s words, to remind me to just be more thankful.

Yes, it may be difficult, but this is His plan for us and His plans are the best. For goodness sake, some of our friends are still struggling to save money to get married and buy a house. Heck, some of my friends are still single and having a hard time looking for a partner and worry for a lonely future. We all have our own struggles and the grass will always look greener on the other side. But sometimes while we are too focused on the negative aspects of our lives, we don’t realise that there are other people who wish they could be in our shoes instead. That comment felt like a slap to my face, but I deserved it and I needed to hear it. Alhamdulillah.

Now back to the main purpose of this post. I am really excited that H and I just became instant parents….. to two very lovely cats!!! Hehehehe. Well, they are technically not our cats. H’s colleague asked for a favour to babysit his 2 cats for about a month or so, because he needs to shift house. H and I have never had any cats before, so we are totally inexperienced. But since we have been contemplating on having a cat for some time, we jumped at this opportunity for a “one month free trial” to experience how it’s like having cats before we decide to get our own cats for real in future! Last Sunday, the owner sent the two kitties to our place together with their basic necessities like food and litter. Alhamdulillah, I am really very happy and excited to be given this temporary amanah. They were born last October, so although they are quite adult-sized already, they are still considered kittens in age. They have been adapting really well. Too well actually. It’s amazes us how manja and attention-seeking they can be. And their playfulness is just mind-blowing. So much for thinking that cats sleep most of the time. They are so freaking active please. Kadang-kadang aku yang penat layan diorang. Initially we were also a little worried because we have never even had one cat, let alone taking care of two. But we realised it’s really great that the 2 cats have each other for company cos if not, they will be super lonely. The two cats are brothers, by the way. When we left for work on Monday morning and left them at home alone, I felt so sad for them and kept missing and thinking about them at work, wondering what they were doing at home. Today is the 6th day they have been with us, and my heart feels so full. I was telling H that having the 2 boys fills up a hole in my heart. Dah macam anak sendiri pulak eh. Hahaha. It’s been good so far. We just need to get used to the new routine of feeding them and keeping their area and litter box clean. But they have also been adapting so well that they are getting more and more daring with climbing and jumping all over the house and disturbing our chores. Thankfully, there are no major damages. Now that we have gotten to know them better, I think we might need to start to impose some sort of control on their behavior and maybe even set some boundaries for them around the house. We even bought for them a new litter box and scratch post. I think it’s very clear to them that H and I dote on them a lot, so I am a bit worried that they might get spoiled and take their freedom for granted.

Cat parents, any advice? 🙂

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