How Will You Remember 2013?

I will remember 2013 with a heart full of thanksgiving and joy.

I thank God fr He is my provider. 

At home, it was the year Mr Kwek and I purchased our own home, designed it, and moved to the new Kwek Kampong.
Keys collected on Aug 12
At work, it was the year of great exposure- traveling, meeting and working with brilliant minds and chairing an international negotiation. It was also the year of awesome colleagues.
Celebrating National Day in the office

I thank God for He is my guide

In service, it was the year I started teaching preschool kids how to read at the PPH Community Service Centre. It was also the year I started to find my place of service in Bethany in small ways with the crèche, dish washing and one voice choir. 
Glamorous girls dishwashing

I thank God for He is love and comfort.

Among my friends, it was the year many of my friends said "I do" to amazing people. It was also the year a number of dear friends lost their loved ones. Our hearts ached, tears were shed together, lives were celebrated and we were reminded of eternity. 

As I look back at 2013, my heart is full.

The frustrations of dealing with contractors, the angst over crazy work demands, the physical, and mental strains of the year, they all melt as I trace the Lord's hand in my life. None of this I deserve. Instead, my life was bought at the highest price and I am forever grateful that my Jesus came to die for me, that I may have life, and life abundant. Such amazing grace and love. 

Truly, "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works." (Psalms 145:17 NKJV)
The lyrics of one of my favorite hymns sums up my thoughts right now as 2013 draws to a close and I look forward to 2014.

Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I'm fixed upon it
Mount of Thy unchanging love

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

How will you remember 2013?

The Big Move

It was surreal seeing our lives wrapped up in bubble wrap and stuffed into large cartons. 
On the drive from Tampines to our new home at Boon Tiong, Mr Kwek and I couldn't believe it was actually happening. We were moving to the home that we have bought together, planned and designed the renovation together, and where we will build our family together. 

The move was fuss free. We hired a moving company and they sent an army of strong men who wrapped everything up and loaded our stuff onto 2 lorries within an hour. I was impressed. It took them another hour to unload and put all the furniture into place in our new home. It was that simple. 

Here's a peek at our new home before all the stuff moved in. 

Our place is basically one big white box. Just the way we like it :)

We have since been living out of our suitcases since it has been a really busy December. You will have to wait till we find time to unpack before I post pictures.

Family History

This is a really old picture of my mom's side of the family. My mom is the youngest child in her family and when this photo was taken, she was not even born yet! 
The lady in black right in the middle is my great grand mother, my Ah Tai. She lived to a ripe old age, well, old enough to see great grand children like me go to school.  She passed on when I was just 7 or 8 so I don't remember much of her. But I do remember being told that the one time my parents were late in picking me up from school, she was so upset she cried. Stories like that are precious to me.
My grandmother is the lady in the back row, 2nd from the right. Isn't she gorgeous? How beautiful she was captured me the first time I saw this photo. At the time this was taken, she already had several children! I think my mom got her genes in the looks department. I hope I did too. 
Of course the way I remember my grandmother is slightly different. She was much older and had a number of health issues by the time I came onto the scene. She stayed with my family and my most vivid memory of her was of standing with her by our living room window doing her daily exercises. That's how I learnt to count in Cantonese. 
My grandfather and great grand father passed on early (they aren't in the photo). But the women in my family are strong independent women. They provided for their families. They kept the family together through tumultuous times in history. They even open their doors and hearts to others who needed a family. 
I love listening to stories of my family history. I wish I got a chance to know these people more. 
I guess all these stories are only written in the whispers of time.


Day 177

Different Outfit Everyday is on another hiatus. But before that, here's what i wore last friday: a mandarin collar top from Gan Ann's sewing room and black pencil skirt. 

The hiatus this time is because Mr Kwek is away at Youth Conference. While it means I don't get to see him much for a week, it is a joy to see Mr Kwek serve God with such passion. I am glad that I can do my part as well by supporting him in his ministry through prayer and taking care of stuff at home like preparing fr our big move! But more about that next time. 

Day 178: So Much Joy

Saturday was filled with such joy. 
We celebrated as two of my dear friends committed to spend the rest of their lives together. The church ceremony was heart warming, the couple were radiant and pastor encouraged the couple as well as everyone gathered at church to "take time". Beautiful. 

The bridal shower for the best friend was brimming with joy as well. It was a gathering of her close friends through various phases of her life. 
I had requested that everyone bring something that reminded them of the best friend, their favourite memory of her, as well as their wishes for the couple. It was such a joy to see and hear of how this person I have known since we were 9 has touched the lives of so many of us.  She is truly one of the most thoughtful people I know. I'm so glad our lives' paths have crossed.
The dress code for the day was floral. So we were all in our dainty dresses. 

Seeing all the amazingly sweet, thoughtful and creative plans they have for the wedding, I really can't wait! It is just 5 days away! 

I love such days filled with so much joy. The joys of friendship and love.  :)


Day 176: Happy Birthday Mr Kwek!

It is Mr Kwek's birthday today!!!! 

I love how simple and down to earth Mr Kwek is. He does not need big celebrations, expensive dinners or gifts. He was happy with just a simple meal cooked by yours truly. One of the many reasons why I love this man :)

I've been blessed with a wonderful husband :) Sending lots of love.


Days 173-175: Different Outfit Everyday is Back!

Since it has been a week since I got back from climate change land, it's time to continue my DOED posts.
Monday's outfit was a hand me down from my colleague. I'm thinking of shortening it but feeling lazy...
On Tues, my never ending saga of the doors for my new place got me all riled up again :( dressed in one of my $2 dresses from Bangkok and pink cropped blazer from a flea market.
But by wed I was looking up again. I really like this outfit. If not for my DOED challenge, I probably would never have put this together. White tank top, vest from London and hand me down lace trimmed pencil skirt.

I've still been wearing different outfits everyday in the time I was in the abyss but I've been too tired to document them. So the daily count just starts from where I left off. 

Here's a selection outfits I managed to capture while in Warsaw. 
I think the DOED outfit was so much easier in a winter country. When wearing 5 layers of clothes, mixing and matching is easy. There is always at least 1 piece that is different. That said, I'm glad to be back to my warm little island. I am totally made for the tropics.