|a pretty a day is here and away|

Documenting life's beauty, as seen through the eyes of a lady blessed with everything a girl could dream of, and more: five gorgeous kids, patient and providing husband, an adorable dog, a very cheeky frog, and still time enough to get crafty and creative in the kitchen or with my trusty needles, thread and yarn!
The joys of being Queen of the household! Rejoice, and the world joins in!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

23rd December 1985

It's unreal! Twenty-seven years ago, I married the man of my dreams. Five gorgeous kids, 9862 mornings of waking up to handsome, handsome Alfred, so many fun house parties, and countless day-to-day adventures after, we find ourselves here, today! "Wow" is definitely an understatement!

In the pre-dawn hours of that morning, I could hardly wait... The biggest party of my life was just about to begin! Everyone was dressed up and jolly, even more so since we were to marry just two days to Christmas. Father Christmas has been superbly generous, I must say!

Oh, what memories! A leaf through the pages of our photo albums brings all of them back even clearer than I remember: the overwhelming moment-by-precious-moment walk down the aisle arm in arm with my Pop,  the all-important "I-do's", the moment we held our breaths as we exchanged rings, feeling like royalty in my gowns, the sharp tailored suits for the gentlemen who mean so much to me, and most of all the happy faces of my proud parents and our excited friends, sisters, brothers... cousins... everybody!

In his sermon that day, Father Alfred Chan told it sweetly... that 'A' being the first letter of the alphabet, and 'Y' being towards the end of the alphabet, how lovely it is that Alfred and I found each other in this great big world. Finding a great man like Alfred who is always bold in his endeavours and selfless when it comes to the people he loves... this is a giant gift that I have always been thankful for.

Today we celebrate twenty-seven great years of marriage -- more than half of each of our lifetimes -- and we will look forward more than ever to all the decades to come! And to share our lives with our children Ben, Mel, Mimi, Kimmy and little Nick is a great joy that I cannot start to describe... So Alfred, cheers to years and years of together-ness, and cheers to your good looks!

Through the yesterdays
And tomorrow's dreams
In the here and now, when you're next to me
Even simple things feel just like new
Every moment I'm with you.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Tis the season!

... to be jolly! and trust me, I love a good time! This holiday season is especially sweet, since Kim's gladly done with her A-levels. This means she's back in the scene after that godawful lengthy study period that we had to put up with - hmph! She's been missing out on some of our family trips because of school, so we wasted no time in making up for it, starting with... A short getaway to Phuket - I'd been there two decades ago, perhaps, and had a swell time! (The all-time favourite memory was... going paragliding without knowing what exactly I was in for - without an inkling of what "paragliding" was! All I knew was, get strapped to this contraption, step off the -- wha?! step off the cliff?! And yeah the rest of that story ended in lots of screaming and laughing, need we say more? Oh the days of youth are great ones... You look back and think "WHAT WAS I THINKING!" and then you look at your kids and go... "Oh be still, my heart!")

Stories of my heyday aside... my best home-pals and I had a great time by the beach this December... and so many of our December vacations tend to sway in favour of pristine beaches and sunny isles...

Kim and Nick went straight into the surf... and were promptly soaked and bobbing about at the mercy of the playful waves, much to Nick's delight!
 And oh, the days and glee that followed... they were such dreams! We watched the sun rise and set on the deck of a fine boat, and drinks were aplenty on board... as you can see, beer was on the menu, also much to Nick's delight!

And on land, there was much adventure too - Ben was very excited to hear that elephants would feature greatly on this trip!

And Kim found a little baby runaway on the beach one morning... just stomping about, minding her own business!

 And, lesson of the morning: elephants have such curious trunks! 

 What did I say... elephants galore! 

Ahh... little trips to new places, especially with family, are one of the biggest joys!
How grand, and how lovely, to spend our days this way :)

So began the annual holiday fanfare! To celebrate Kim's graduation, and to congratulate Mimi on her University pursuits thus far, their Papa Alfie surprised them with a trip to Korea! The girls and I were watching KBS dramas one night, talking about possible future visits... and what do you know, Alfred went and got them that trip, with Nicky as their chaperone! Those lucky, lucky gals!

Mimi was all smiles aboard, tucking into what was to be the first of many Korean snacks~ 

 This was one of the first pictures they sent home... wandering someplace on the way to a cave, I believe!

Those cold December days, with a little snowfall every now and then, will surely be some lasting memories!

And it's so nice to find kids that get along so famously, and no matter how far from home, always find time to write back and say "Hey Momma!"

In typical fashion, these kids went out and got ice cream one night, in spite of the cold, because Nick insisted that "In a cold place such as this, you can take your time with your ice cream!"

That cheeky boy...
You never know what to expect from him! And when he returned home, glad to escort his well-looked-after sisters, that little man looked just a little bit taller!

Mel, Alfred, Ben and I had our own little road trip while those three were set loose upon Korean soil, but we were -- as always -- glad to have them home... especially with all that Korean shopping!!!

Good night, and happy December (speaking of which, we finally put those nice ol' Christmas decorations up on the tree!)

P.S. Kim's got some photos up on her blog here... Click, click, click here for Kimmy's blog! 
so you know where to go for more on that girl's fun!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Watching Benny Grow


All this quarter of a century, I've been watching a cheeky little boy grow into a fine young man who doesn't get up to much mischief now but still keeps that sparkle in his beady little eyes. He's my every-day-by-my-side guy, my always-smiling, nothing-fazes-me cool guy, he's my perfect Benji boy! All in all, a nice Wednesday, and a nice 25 years and counting! Here's to tomorrow, birthday boy!

And watching Benny graduate from PlayMobil and toy horses to motorcycle scalemodels and painting, and now guitar collections and shelves of CDs... boy, it's been quite a ride, even if I say so myself! But today I couldn't be prouder to call this great guy my son!

Thank you for all the joy, laughter, and mischief, we've had a great time, so tomorrow let's kick off the rest of our lives in the best of ways... Surprise, Ben! Here's your 25th birthday gift... Tomorrow, you're going with me and your papa on a nice little getaway! Count your lucky stars, and make a big 25th birthday wish!

Your All-Time Mom!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Toast to Yours Truly!

It's no secret, I've turned another year older!
(Oh yes, one more year, though my looks may deny it... HAHAHAHA no, I joke!!! Oh my... ;))

So... here's looking to the future! 

This year's celebration... perhaps the most extended one in all my years! I've seen my fair share of birthdays, of course, and time has taken me from little family celebrations in my girlhood, to a memorable birthday in my twenties as a secretary with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR birthday cakes, and oh all the presents a girl could wish for! ... and now, year after year of great memories with my own family. And every year's another reason to celebrate life!
This year, my birthday celebrations (yeah, plural, because really every day's a party in this home!) have taken me to a rooftop in Medan, to a "secret" Chinese restaurant in our neighbourhood, and this weekend, to Cebu! And we can't wait for this weekend!
It all started at the beginning of July when Mel came back from a night shift at work, and we both hit the iPad, beady eyes peering at the screen and yeah anyone listening would think we'd won the lottery when we scored a good deal on flights/hotels! So my very first birthday treat... if you look at the picture up there... Was in Medan! That's just me and my boy Ben hitting the bar, for an early "birthday" afternoon drinks!

(It's a rule in this home that your birthday month is "your month" so birthday surprises last a month, not just the day itself! Oh yes, I'm the smartypants who started the rule, which means I get the whole of July to meself ;)

And on 24/7 - THE Day - my kiddos and their papa surely didn't disappoint!

I'm a 24/7 momma - twenty-four hours, seven days a week - and they sure know it! So of course celebrations should too be 24/7!
First thing in the morning, I'm enjoying coffee and chitchat with my girlio Melly and who else but Alfred comes bursting in through the front door, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEAUTIFUL! GOOD LUCK! HAVE YOU FOUND IT?" 

Oh yes I had! He sure knows my favourite spots in the home! He'd cleverly hidden a surprise red packet in the midst of my shimmery blings! I took a little peek and oh yes, that made me smile!

In the afternoon, our scholar Mimi (she's going to start school at NUS soon) announced she'd be off to the mall for a little while, and she took Ben with her... Mel and I exchanged looks, of course we knew a surprise was in order!
And yes! The darlings were back with a sweet surprise!

And of course, the regular birthday fanfare ensued, birthday songs, impromptu recitals and duets... Oh just the regular birthday things... 
Alright, here's the part where I let you in on a little secret! My birthday celebration this year was ... A PYJAMA PARTY! I figured it was the best way since Mel would be off the night shift, the kids had school in the morning, and come on, everyone loves an excuse to lounge around in PJs all day! 
So pyjamas, coffee liquer on the rocks, birthday cake (a good lot of it, too!), music and stories... All's good to me!
Of course, we held the dress-up event the night before... which was of course, the "proper" thing to do ;) 
And there were longevity "peach" buns! Don't we love those! (We've got an inside joke about them, too...)

Here's to more merry, merry years ahead (as my good ol' little-big boy Nick would say), and more of those precious little jars of miracle creams (for the laugh crinkles, heehee)!

Thank you to everyone who wished me the best... my virtual, Internet hugs to one and all!

Toodles, friends!

P.S. A little tune, just for sharing :) 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Little Dutch Journey...

The Netherlands - a land i've never set foot in! But the girlies did last month, and this song is the cutest little ditty on the internet about a little Dutch girl! The girlies spent their time sitting around in giant clogs, chugging Heinekens (I've got to find that picture!) and counting bridges and canals...

 Oh, and they found a couple of tiny vehicles... did this girl find herself in Lilliput ? Hahaha :)
Lizards, lizards, always a charm. Kim would disagree!

In their neighbourhood... The sun set really late, all the better for a longer day!

Oh, and CHEESE. Need Mimi say more?

And setting two girls loose in one very liberal city (we all know what they're famous for...) ... was this a good idea? ;) Oh well, youth happens once and it should rightly be full of fun times!

Their momma~
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