The Liebster Award

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It’s been so long since I last blogged. So when I read that soon-to-be-bride May had tagged me for this award, I am pleasantly surprised! Thank you so much, May! I resolved to blog a whole lot more this year, but alas… so much for resolution.  But this award compels me to write, which is nice. It’s so much easier to write when the topic is already provided for you, isn’t it? J Such a lazy bum I am.

Anyway, The Liebster award is great, because bloggers can get to know each other through the fun facts shared., I think people love reading facts about other people and also, not so secretly, we love sharing things about ourselves. I am, therefore I blog, right? Hahaha.

Here are the details of the award:

  1. Posting tentang award ini di blog.
  2. Tag blogger yang kasih award ini, plus link nya donggg (iklan harus jalan terus).
  3. Jawab 11 pertanyaan yang dikasih.
  4. Share 11 fun facts tentang dirinya.
  5. Tag another 11 bloggers biar rantai nya nggak putus.

Without further ado, I present to you (especially you May ;)) 11 fun facts about myself:

  1. I’ve been on a Paleo diet on and off for about 1.5 years now. The past few months I’ve been very disciplined about it. I love Paleo, though I used to despise it, coming from a typical carb-heavy eating pattern. Paleo gives me a lot of energy. Though I can’t lie, the carb craving can be very intense sometimes.
  2. My idea of a fun, relaxing end of the day is laying on my couch with peppermint tea in hand and a good British show on the telly.
  3. I hate yard work. I don’t have green thumbs.
  4. I have phobia of heigt.. My legs start shaking and I get dizzy.
  5. I run, though I actually don’t like the act of running itself. Here’s a prototypical thoughts pattern when I run, “How long have I got left? How long until finish line? Why the F did I do this to myself?”  But every single time, without fail, upon arriving at the finish line, I feel awesome and accomplished.
  6. I love culture. I love learning about different cultures and customs of the world.
  7. I love history and Greek mythology.
  8. My favorite actors are Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston. I think they are super sexy, great actors and also very well spoken and well educated. Plus you can never go wrong with a British accent.
  9. I want to travel the whole world someday.
  10. I am an anxious driver.
  11. I consider myself an adventurous eater. I will try everything once. If first impression isn’t good, I’ll give it another go for sure.

 

And now to answer the questions:

  1. Kapan mulai ngeblog? 2004. My first writings are personal archive now.
  2. Kenapa suka ngeblog? I like writing and jotting down my thoughts.
  3. Paling suka ngeblog tentang apa? Different topics. Mostly personal stuff.
  4. Apa topik favorit yang selalu dibaca diblog orang? Parenting tips, simple recipes, travelogues, history trivia.
  5. Apa yang kegiatan favorit di waktu luang? TV, internet.
  6. Punya mimpi yang pengen di wujudkan dalam waktu dekat? Loose 10 pounds, finish a 10K.
  7. Apa film favorit kamu? I can’t tell you because I have too many. I don’t have a particular favorite. But I do like Wes Anderson’s works.The Darjeeling Limited is his work I love most. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was stunning. (It’s not Wes Anderson though) Trainspotting was my favorite when I was younger. A la folie, pas du tout is a French movie that I like. I recently watched 12 Years a Slave and it was absolutely thought provoking. I told you, I can’t pick. I will say that I gravitate toward historical movies or history inspired movies, period pieces, and quirky indie stuff.
  8. Apakah makna pertemanan itu? The ability to be happy when the other(s) is happy. The selflessness to help and give all when the other(s) needs support.  Knowing that the relationship is not defined by the frequency of physical contact. Security.
  9. Sebutkan 3 orang wanita yang menjadi sumber inspirasi kamu. My mother. My sister. I think Sheryl Sandberg is pretty awesome. Also, Rosa Parks.
  10. Sebutkan 3 hal yang loe paling suka dalam hidup. Exploring new places, being with my loved ones, eating good food.
  11. Seandainya loe hidup hanya 3 bulan kedepan dan boleh melakukan 3 hal, apa pilihan loe? Go back home to Indonesia and spend sometimes with my family. Travel the rest of the world. Give my son and husband lots of hugs and kisses everyday.

 

Thank you again May, that was fun🙂 (Also, I am excited that you are so close to your BIG day! Yay!) I won’t tag anyone, mainly because I don’t think many read this space. However, if you are reading, have a blog and have not been tagged for this award,please consider yourself tagged!

 

 

 

2014

Ahh, the New Year. Has it been another year? 2013 flew by it feels like.

It seems that there was a surge in my blog views today. Whoever you are in Indonesia, come say hi🙂 I don’t bite, I promise. Haha. Also it seems I have a reader in Japan who checks up on me quite frequently, despite my dormant blog. Thank you🙂 Please say hi as well😀

Well, that surge prompts me to write again. 

I have been slacking again and left my blog dormant for a few months. Why? Nothing new. Writer’s block, lazy, lazy, lazy. Did I say lazy? Yep. There’s so much to write, so much I want to write about. Maybe this year eh? One of my new years resolutions is to write a post a week. Some weeks it may be crap, though, but I’m going to attempt normalcy. 

2013 has been a good year. This year on January I started driving and it’s made all the difference. I can go places now! The public transport in my city is really,quite frankly, shit. If you don’t have a car, it’s hard to go anywhere. Buses are limited to certain parts of the city, they come every 30 minutes (15 during rush hour), and oftentimes are not on time. 

I started working out frequently. I ran a few 5k races. I had a few vertigo attacks (a post about this at a later time), and they were bad enough that I stopped working out for a while.

We made peace with some family members.

Met up (also affectionately known as kopdar) with two blogosphere friends, Rifi, over the summer, and Noni just recently. Both visited St. Louis. They were fun!  Hoping for more kopdars this year.

Made some new friends IRL. Spent my summer swimming with the kiddo, lounging by lakes, watching fireworks, watching free concerts, strolling around festivals. Fall was spent pumpkin picking, leaves racking, going to Halloween events. Winter is always busy, go-go-go and do-do-do. We hosted Thanksgiving this year for 18 people. It was a success, but man the clean up took 2 days! Lots of gatherings and catching up with people. Gift exchanging, cooking lots of food, baking pies and cookies. Putting up Christmas tree. Going to see Christmas lights show.

Our New Years Eve was very low key, as they tend to be for a last few years since we have a kid. By 9 PM Bryan and I are both usually super pooped and if we were watching tv, we would always fall asleep on the sofa. We thought about going to a party at some friends’ house, but the thought of it already exhausted me. December is always incredibly busy. So we chose to stay home and hung out with my brother in law and his girlfriend who came over. We put up some veggie tray and hummus, chips and dips, some cheese and smoked meat and played Texas Hold ‘Em, Cards Against Humanity, and UNO until it was 2:30 in the AM. 

Which was singlehandedly, the wildest thing I’ve done in the past year. Hahaha. Sad, eh? Guess I’m gettin’ old. But that’s okay, I am okay with gettin’ old. 

It was an awesome night, albeit very low key. I really, really enjoy doing low key nights. I can’t remember the last time I went to a pub,must be over the summer. Even then I wanted to leave after an hour or so. As I get older,I prefer dinner parties over going to bars. Too loud, you have to yell to make conversation, you have to pay jacked up price for drinks you can pour at home. 

 I also cut back on drinking. Mainly due to my vertigo situation, but I found that I feel much lighter and healthier with less alcohol. A few weeks ago I had one glass of wine after dinner, and a few hours later I spent about an hour hugging the toilet puking my dinner out (sorry TMI), because of the vertigo attack. Since then I have really been cautious about alcohol. I drink a lot more tea now,peppermint being my favorite. Tea soothes me and it warms me up.

Now, on to topic of the new year.. I guess this brings us to resolutions, eh?

Personally I would like to accept and love myself more, stop comparing my life to others, work out regularly and keep it up all year long, finish one book each month, write a post here each week, paint my nails each Sunday, and try a a new restaurant once a month.

As far as parenting goes, I would like to have more patience, yell less and discuss more, spend more time reading, coloring, baking cookies and running at parks together, do more playdates, speak in Indonesian full-time to kiddo (2 days and still going strong!), and cuddle more.

In the home front I am starting daily,weekly and monthly schedule for chores and the such. My only rezzie in this front is to keep to my schedule and not skip any housework no matter how unmotivated I feel.

In the marriage front I would like to be softer, less volatile and more in tune. Listen more, talk less. 

So, anyway. Happy New Year’s to you! What’s your resolution?

In The Way I See It

Coco Chanel once said, “The best things in life are free; the second best are expensive.”

Oftentimes I am trapped in this school of thought : for something to be considered happiness, it must be grandiose. I am not proud of this narrow-mindedness of mine and I have been trying very hard to revamp this ill informed opinion.

My husband once said, “If life is a graph, how would you draw it? Is it a dramatic, drastic up and down line? Like when you’re happy, the line goes drastically up. You’re setting a very high standard for your definition of happiness. Everything that falls short of that pedestal is not happiness. And what is the opposite of happiness? Maybe that’s why you feel depressed a lot.”

Then he continued, “If your life drawn in a graph is a stable, constant, straight-ish line, don’t you think it’s a more realistic perspective to keep? You’re not always looking up for your next excitement, for your next happiness. But rather, you learn to perceive many regular things as happiness. The mundane, day to day things in life that are often overlooked in your quest for grandiose happiness. That extreme swing of up and down isn’t very good for your mental and emotional health.”

I was stunned, because I had never thought about it like that.

You know that popular phrase, “Life is about the journey, not the destination”?

I think it’s similar to what my husband said. If I am too focused on finding that next excitement, that next big thing to look forward to.. (example : I must plan a party for husband’s birthday! a fall hiking trip for the family! a Black Friday shopping list for Christmas presents! a vacation next year! ) then I manage to forget that the little things that happen in the daily are very precious as well.

The daily journey is filled with little things that is well worth of being called happiness.

It struck me yesterday as I was eating dinner with my son. We split a turkey grilled cheese sandwich, him with a glass of milk and me with my apple cider. He had this happy,content look in his face and we were both saying, “Yum! It’s so delicious” I realized, this is happiness. I am happy. He is happy. It’s a nice feeling. It isn’t eating out at a restaurant, it is just a simple dinner with my little guy. It isn’t a fancy meal I cooked (though, of course that would be nice too), it’s a grilled cheese sandwich that took me all of 5 minutes to make because that was what we felt like having for dinner last night.

Then I began to recount my day..

I had a homemade Pumpkin Spiced Latte (PSL) in the morning. That tasted pretty damn close to Starbucks’ PSL if I do say so myself. For a few years now, beginning every fall, I looked forward to having my first cup of Starbucks PSL. It symbolizes  the seasonal change, gone are the days of scorching hot summer days made for pools and evening music festivals, and back are the days of pumpkin pickings and bonfires.

However, I can’t afford to keep buying Starbucks. Those little cups of spicy wonders can truly put a dent in my bank account. Starbucks ain’t cheap. So I found a recipe online and replicated it. Now I can have it every morning. And I can afford that!

I realized, that is happiness. A steaming cup of PSL on a chilly fall morning. And soon it will be boots and scarfs and sweaters season. The leaves will change color. It will then be time to go pumpkin picking and do our annual family tradition of pumpkin carving.

That is happiness.

I called my friend Vicky yesterday, seeing if she wanted to take her kids to the Botanical Garden with us. Her kids are sick so she said, “Maybe next time, thanks for thinking about us.”

It’s lovely to be thanked for a simple act of thinking.

It is happiness. To be able to call a friend, to share a few details of your day.

That is happiness.

My son and I went to the Botanical Garden. We played together in the pretend grocery store they had, he played in the sand, wade in the fountain, and fed the fat koi fishes in the Japanese Garden. The garden wasn’t crowded, it was a pleasant, quiet day, a bit humid for my liking, but it was such a lovely day.

I felt lucky to be able to spend moments like these with him. Children grow up fast, oh so cliche, but so very true. Soon my son won’t want to be hugged so tight, to be kissed, to be squeezed, to be held. Soon he’d want to do everything by himself. Soon he’ll be too cool for me. He’s already stopped calling me “Mommy” and started calling me “Mom” instead. One time I gave him something and instead of saying, “thank you Mommy” in his childlike high pitched voice, he said coolly, “thanks, Mom”…. which makes me feel like, oh dear, my 4 years old is going on 14!

It is bittersweet… but it is happiness.

At night before bedtime, we snuggle together on the reclining chair in his room, reading books from the library. He picked a book about dolphins last night.

It is happiness.

Two days ago I took my son to his soccer practice. We got to kick the ball together. I watched him on the sideline, happily kicking the soccer ball with his team mates, little boys and girls who filled the soccer field with infectious giggles and laughs. All the other parents were smiling too. Such a lovely moment to be a witness to. Watching the coach took his time to explain to Franklin how to do a side-kick. Watching Franklin slowly learning how to side kick properly. And the flash light of happiness in his eyes as he did it properly for the first time. The gleam in his face as the coach said, “There you go buddy! Good job!”

That is happiness.

Three days ago, my husband and I went to the Art Hill to watch the free Symphony Orchestra concert. It was gloomy, raining, and a bit chilly. We only had an umbrella. But I insisted we still go, because it’s our tradition and I am sort of big on traditions like that. This was our fourth year of going to the same concert. It was wet, muddy, and quite messy. But the orchestra played wonderfully as they always do, my husband wasn’t crabby (he usually doesn’t like messy things and places – he has OCD) , he was smiling and happy and cracking jokes. My shoes were wet, my jeans felt damp. But I was happy.

That is happiness.

Whenever I received a postcard in the mail from Postcrossing, I share it with my son and husband. My husband likes to look at the pictures and stamps and read the handwriting of the sender. My son loves to look at the picture, and have me read the message from the sender. We talk about the country the sender is from, google it, and look at pictures of that country.

That is happiness.

And then of course, in a sudden moment of epiphany, I realize… happiness is truly in the way I look at it. The secret is in the way I see it. A rainy outdoor concert, a simple grilled cheese sandwich, a cup of homemade latte, a soccer practice, a bedtime snuggle, a postcard in the mail……

every single little thing can be happiness. And just like that, life is no longer about reaching the next point of excitement, the finish line. But rather about stopping and smelling the flowers. And walking slowly along the trail to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Now tell me, what is your happiness?

Grateful

When I was young, I thought I wanted someone to sweep me off my feet. I wanted someone who, on a whim would knock my door, and said “hey, let’s hit the road and go to Chicago.”

I thought I wanted someone who then would proceed to drive the five hours throughout the plain field of Illinois, while putting on Ella Fitzgerald and Lisa Ekdahl. We would sing along and hold hands, I would whimsically look out of the window into the darkness of the cool Midwestern summer night, and we would grin ear to ear as the skyline of Chitown comes creeping up.

I would then proclaim with all the enthusiasm I can muster, “We’re here!”

I thought I wanted someone who would take me by the hands and stroll leisurely through Millenium Park. I thought I wanted someone who would want to take a picture with me with a Navy Pier sunset on the background.

When I was young, I thought I wanted someone with a face that is so beautiful that everything else pales in comparison. I thought I wanted someone who always plays hard to get, someone who thinks I’m physically attractive.

When I was young, I thought I wanted someone to dance the night away with to the tunes of Kanye, or Jay Z, or Beyonce.  I wanted someone to carry me on his back after one too many cocktails.

When I was young, I thought I wanted someone to sit beside me on my thoughtful nights in my patio, listening to all my nonsense, agreeing with me that the world is crazy and things just don’t make sense.

When I was young I wanted adrenaline. I wanted excitement.

When I was young, I wanted a little bit of danger.

But you are truly one of a kind.

When I disappointed you, you sat calmly on your recliner. You inhaled your cigarette, sighing deeply. You explained things to me, one by one. You presented solution.

When I felt like my world was crumbling, when depression gripped me tightly, you stayed there.

When I was very, very hard to love you managed to still do.

When the baby wouldn’t latch on to my breasts on his first night alive, and out of hormonal imbalance and frustration I nearly lost my shit,  you remained calm, humming softly to his ears, and said, “It’s okay, we have to teach you and Mommy how to do this thing. It’s okay, baby.”

When we were first home from the hospital, and the baby wouldn’t stop screaming, you took him softly from his bassinet, took off your shirt, and laid him down on your bare chest. “They like to listen to your heartbeat,” you said.

And he stopped crying.

At eight days old, you came home from night school, put the baby on his belly, and told him , “alright, show me what you can do.”

That is my favorite story of you from the baby’s early days. I always smile when I remember that day.

When my grandmother was sick, you told me to take the kid and fly home. “You don’t want to regret anything,” you said. I said, ”it is very expensive to fly home, do you understand that? My home country is thousands of miles away.”

You stood by your belief. “She is very important to you. Everything else can wait.”

Five months after I left the Motherland, my grandmother passed away. Before she died, she told her trusted housekeeper, “It’s okay if my granddaughter can’t make it to my funeral. I’ve seen her again. I’ve seen my great-grandson.”

You always knew these things. Somehow you always knew.

At the brink of my reoccurring depression, when I would wake up and ask my purpose in life, you told me to pick a 5 kilometers race to run, and that we would do it.

It’s hard to imagine not having running in my life now.

When I would fall off my living healthy bandwagon, you would remind me. Not always in the way I like it, but you always do. “We will get healthy together,” you said. “So we can live longer?” I asked.

“So we can live longer.”

Somehow, you are not my idea of what I wanted all those years ago. You are safe, you are secure, you are the farthest thing from reckless, you are a planner, you thrive on predictability.

You are a rock and my strength. You are what I never knew I wanted. You are just what I want and what I need. Loving you isn’t an easy task, but I took it in hands. I never gave up on it, though oftentimes I am tempted.

You are the person with whom I was meant to share my lifetime.

And boy, oh boy, am I glad that you are.

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Forest Park, November 2010

 

From blogging friends :)

Hi all! Long time no blog.

What’s with the hiatus? Nothing really. I’ve just been lazy, lol. Either that or I just simply lack for any inspiration to write. I would write a post halfway then I would get stuck, suddenly the words wouldn’t come out anymore so they all remain drafts.

But today I’m going to attempt a short post.. because this time, I do have something I want to write about!

Recently I’ve been very lucky, and have received three lovely things in my mailbox. And all of them from you guys, my fellow bloggers. I can’t tell you how much it made my day to receive these awesomeness.

first off… I won Miss May‘s nail polish giveaway. This was the first time I participated in a giveaway.. and I won.🙂 I was so excited to win it, because I love me some nail polishes. That, and I also love May’s blog. She’s a talented and insightful feminist writer. What’s not to like?

It just happened that my nail polish collection is lacking for some bright summery neons. But I also love dark,sultry colors for colder months. I especially love maroon red for the holiday season in December. So when May said I can pick any OPI mini lacquer sets.. I made several choices which were the Neon Revolution ones, The Scentsational Six and the Bond Collection. I told May that she’ll just have to pick which one to send me, because I simply can’t choose one.

A mere one week later, I arrived home from an errand and found this package in my mailbox..

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And in the package was..

IMAG1619Thanks a lot, May! I’ve been wearing the polishes for the past 2 weeks. Too bad I kept forgetting to take photos everytime after I painted my nails. Now they’re all chipped,lol. Next time I paint my nails (which is due soon), I will definitely take a photo.

Secondly, about two weeks ago or so, on a Saturday afternoon after getting back from shopping, I came to my mailbox and found this..

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When I turned it around, I found that it was a postcard from Andrew.. Mas Arman‘s little dude! How awesome.

IMAG1661A while back, Mas Arman mentioned in one of his posts that Andrew is all about geography right now and is super into learning about new places around the globes. So Mas Arman contacted a few bloggers around the world and have them sent postcards from all over to lucky Andrew. I thought, well, I want to exchange a postcard with Andrew too! This is so exciting to me, because a) I’m also a geography geek. Since I was a young’in, all the way to this very day, I still LOVE learning about new places.. be it a city, a village, a mountain, a beach, anything really. and b) I LOVE postcards. I think they are so personal and lovely..like you’re receiving a little piece of both the sender and the place/thing on the postcard.

On the 4th of July this year, we went to the Saint Louis Fair, which is a 3 days festival celebrating the Independence Day down by the Arch ground. Under the Arch happens to be the Museum of Westward Expansion which also has a museum store. There I bought a few post cards, one of them was a photo of an aerial view of my city’s downtown. I thought Andrew would like that so I sent him that one.

So, thank you very much Andrew! Thank you Mas Arman and Mbak Esther! I think it’s wonderful that you guys are encouraging his love of geography through this postcard exchange. Never stop learning, buddy! There’s always something new out there to explore.

.. and thirdly, last week, I received this post card with my favorite plant (Coconut) in it..

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I can already guess the sender of this one, who happens to be none other than Miss Noni!

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When Noni wrote a post saying she has plenty of postcards to send out, I definitely commented as fast as I can (which basically meant as soon as I read her post), and thankfully I was one of her lucky readers who gets to receive a postcard from her.

Thank you so much, Non! I really like the postcard. I hope you guys get to come home to Chicago this Christmas. Chicago is awfully cold in the winter, but it is also ridiculously beautiful. (of course I am also heavily biased, because Chicago is my favorite US city, haha). I hope we get to meet sooner than later!🙂

It’s been so wonderful receiving all these things through blogging. I also just recently joined PostCrossing (got the idea from one of May’s posts – thanks, girl) and my first sent postcard has just been registered yesterday.. which means that I’m now waiting for a postcard to come in the mail from someone. Yes, a stranger! How exciting. I even specifically bought some cute stamps  just for this postcard exchange, haha.

Is anyone interested in postcard exchange with me? Feel free to leave a comment!

Hitting the Pavement

All my life I’ve hated running.

In middle and high school, my PE teacher would take us all to this big field in the middle of my hometown, under the unbearably scorching hot Equator sun and made us run several loops around the field. The popular kiddos, also known as the jocks and/or athletes would rock this challenge, finishing out strong, high fiving each other, ensuring their top status in the high school popularity strata to remain strong.

Well, suffice it to say, I was a loser. Socially speaking I floated somewhere in the middle. I hung out with mostly girls, and with a few exception, we all kinda sucked at PE. However, my girls are excellent in hard and social science and languages. But was that cool in high school? Nope, of course not.

In one of those running excursions, incidents would happen. Naturally, those always involve the losers. Somebody would faint, puke, or be too weak to make the trek back to the school. Now this never happened to me, but still, I was always amongst the last to finish the running.

I always hated the feeling of my stomach being shaken. And that breathless feeling. And the feeling that my legs are about to fall off.

Who in their right mind would voluntarily put themselves through such torture? such was my youthful thought.

In college I had a phase when I was a health junkie, a work-out fanatic. I would run in the treadmill at the gym for cardio and do weight training. I watched what I ate. But like many other things in my early adulthood (such as that one fleeting moment when I thought I was an existentialist), it lasted only but a short while. I was preoccupied with too many hedonistic things to care about something so… positive. (for example : friday night choice of working out at the gym or a dinner out with friends? well, the choice made itself.)

Then for the longest time I was just a sloth. I didn’t do exercise of any kind.

A year after my son’s birth, I began going to the gym and repeated the same routine I did in college. Treadmill for cardio and weight machines. This went on a cycle of on-and-off until about the beginning of this year. To be fair, it was mostly off.. a.k.a I would hit the gym once and then skipped for months. Also, during the winter, I would eat like a caterpillar who’s about to go into hybernation. I just stuffed my face all the time and I never even bothered to count my calories.

It was not until my jeans started being way too tight and my husband started making comments about the appearance of a muffin top  that I began looking at myself in the mirror. My jeans went up 2 sizes!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t care about sizes. I DON’T think that the only way to look good is to be skinny. I think everyone is beautiful in their own ways, in their own body sizes. As a feminist I often made sarcastic remarks to my male friends for being so hung up on the old fashioned standard of sexiness and/or fitness. Curvy is beautiful. Big is beautiful. Not everyone is going to look like some skinny Korean actress and that IS okay. I mean, look at Christina Hendricks and her killer curves. Look at Her Highness Queen Beyonce. If I had a body like those girls I would strut my stuff every day!

But I began feeling like I was not fit. My depression always intensified during the winter and being sedentary had finally taken its toll on me, not only mentally but also physically. I would wake up and still be tired. I would ask myself, “What’s my purpose today?” All I wanted to do was to go back to bed and stay there all day. I didn’t want to exercise, didn’t want to hit the gym, didn’t give a flying fig what I ate.

My husband began noticing this regression in my well-being. He decided that it was time to take fitness really seriously. We started working out together, hitting the gym, running, doing weight training.

On Saturday last week, I ran the first 5K race in my life. I wrote here on another post before, that we were going to run a race in early April. Barely any training went into preparing for it, because we had just started exercising again only a week prior to the race. Also we found out that my husband wouldn’t be able to run the race with me, because he couldn’t take the day off work. (In our true clumsy fashion, we forgot that it was on a Saturday not a Sunday, and he has to work on Saturdays )

So I ran with a girlfriend and her 8 years old daughter. The day before I thought, “Shit, what am I gonna do if I can’t finish the race? Oh well, maybe if I don’t feel up to it, I just wouldn’t go.”

I went anyway. I dropped my son and dad-in-law at a playground nearby and walked toward where all the runners/walkers are. Found my friend M and her daughter L. I told her, “I don’t feel so good, couldn’t sleep well last night, too anxious for this. I won’t be too hard on myself, I’ll walk and then run, and then walk, anyway I’ll be taking it easy and I’d understand if you don’t keep pace with me.”

She said we’ll do it together. They’ll keep pace.

I finished 5K or 3.1 miles in 43 minutes and 40 seconds. Far from being good.

but i finished.

I never stopped moving. When I got tired or when L would call me, “Wu! Wait for me, don’t run so fast, wait for me!” (this girl loves me for some reason🙂 ) I would slow down and walk.

M and L finished about a minute after me. We were just happy to finish it. We didn’t care that our time isn’t impressive. M kept telling her daughter how proud she is of her. I high fived her and told her we’ll do it again next month in another race.

I signed my husband and myself up for another race next month to benefit the Zoo.

Today, I ran some parts of the Forest Park with my husband. 5.7 km or 3.6 miles in 39 minutes. Not even close to being good, but I made progress. We started out the first and second miles strong and the third was kind of dragging. But I ran faster than I did Saturday, and I never stopped moving. My husband kept saying, “Even if it’s a slow jog, keep going!”

I find that the adrenaline rush I got right after finishing is incomparable to any other feeling in the world. It’s addictive. It’s ridiculously addictive. The euphoria lasted me all day on Saturday, and right now I’m feeling happy, high, from the running.

A friend of mine once told me, “When I hit the pavement, I can feel all my sadness melted away.  I cranked up the music, ran as fast as my feet were capable of, and cried all my problems away. There’s something liberating about running.”

And maybe, just maybe… I begin to understand how she feels now. Over the winter I would see these people running, even in the middle of a snowstorm, and I would always thought, “What a bunch of crazies.”

Maybe I was the crazy one?

If I can crank up my music, run, and cry my depression away, then hell yeah that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to continue running, and friends, now you can hold me accountable for it.

Image

after my first 5K race. Pardon my terrible photoediting skill, hahaha.

ibu.


Hi all,

Another long while passed since I’ve last blogged. It would appear that not only have I lost my writing mojo, my laziness has also reached an all-time high. Life’s been life, that’s to say it’s as usual, there’s up and there’s down.

Today I would like to post something, a tribute if you will.

My paternal grandmother, my Eyang Putri (or Ibu as I call her), passed away 45 days ago today. Ibu was the main reason behind my trip home last year. I can safely say all of us in the family have expected the moment to arrive, though the sadness is undoubtedly palpable. She has lived a long, full and happy 75 years and her memories and spirit will always remain with us forever.

I will forever remember the last time I spoke to her on the phone, eleven days before she was gone. She had called me the day before, Monday, but I missed her call. I returned her call back the next morning on Tuesday. She had heard from my Dad that my son was sick so she inquired about that.  I talked to her for a good 30 minutes. She was asking about my new niece (my husband’s sister had just given birth to a little girl), she was telling to me to amp up in teaching my son his letters and numbers.

Before I hung up, I told her the same thing I always told her, “Nanti aku telpon lagi ya Bu. Sehat sehat ya Bu.”

She replied, “Iya. Terima kasih ya ‘nduk.”

She always thanked me for calling her. I always told her she shouldn’t thank me. It is my duty to call her, to check up on her. And that I should’ve been a better granddaughter and call more often.

that i should. that i really fucking should.

That thank-you would be her last words to me.  I wish I could say no regret, I wish I could say that confidently, but the truth is,

i really, really wish i stayed on that phone a while longer. a lot while longer. another half an hour, another hour, another two hours. 

I am happy that she’s in a much, much better place. Like my Grandfather before her, she chose for her body to be cremated shortly after her passing. She was cremated in Jakarta. My family spread her ashes in the sea. On a chilly Wednesday afternoon, my husband, son and I went to the Mississippi River bearing a bouquet of flowers we picked up at Schnucks and picking the flowers by the sprig, throwing them out to sea and said prayers for her.

“Say your prayers for Yangti,” my husband told our son.

“Tell Yangti to have a good rest,” I told my son. (My son calls my grandparents Yangti and Yangkung.)

In his childlike voice, throwing the purple geranium sprig, he said bravely, “Sleep well, Yangti and Yangkung!”

off went the purple geranium, out into the river, flowing with the water. going to sea, i hope. my ibu loves flowers. i can only hope the bouquet i picked meets her standard.

My husband threw the yellow geranium sprig, then he looked out into the sea. He probably whispered some good words to my grandparents. He’s never met my grandmother, he’s seen her a few times on Skype over spotty connection and spoke for a few minutes on the phone. Her with her broken English and my husband in all his awkwardness. She would tha nk him profusely for taking care of me. The last time, over the phone she told my husband in her frail but confident voice

i love you.

My husband was taken aback. For all his western sensibility and the way they throw their i-love-yous rather freely and sometimes lightly, he was taken aback, that this woman he’s never met, a woman who certainly wasn’t raised to say something so profound so easily, he was taken aback. A smile appeared on his face and he replied,

i love you too. thank you.

And so I am sure, at that moment, as he was throwing his yellow sprig off to sea, he whispered those same words to her.

I threw the pink geranium, and I whispered to the sea, I know they are listening somewhere up there. I told my grandparents my hope that their reunion would be sweet, and that they are happy together now, inseparable.
I told my son that Yangti is now happy up in the Sky, reunited with Yangkung and that even though she wouldn’t be in her house anymore the next time we come visit Indonesia, she will always look upon us and take care of us.

One day we were in the car. I was driving us to my husband’s grandmother’s house. My son was looking out of the window, the same thing he always does when we’re in the car. Suddenly from the backseat, he said, “Mama, does Yangti live in the Sky now?”

Something about the innocence, clear voice in which he asked the question stirred up a certain pang of sadness in me.
I turned my head up to the sky and smiled. I told my son, “Yes, yes she does, baby.”

A few weeks ago it snowed in our city. A blanket of whiteness. My first thought was, “Bu, sekarang Ibu bisa lihat salju deket rumahku kan?” It’s funny now that she’s gone, I am so certain that she gets to experience everything she always said she wanted to experience when she was alive. She always said she wanted to see my house. Wanted to see my town in the snow. Wanted to see my son’s daycare and his friends. Wanted to meet my dad in law.

After she’s gone, now I found myself quietly talking to her, introducing her to all the things she wanted to meet, all the things she wanted to see.

“ini daycarenya franklin, bu. ini gurunya, miss carol, ini gurunya yang satu lagi, miss rhonda. daycarenya di belakang gereja.”

“ini papa mertuaku. orangnya aneh, tapi hatinya baik. dia sayang banget sama franklin.”

Because I know, now she sees. Now she meets them.

A few mornings ago I woke up, and you know how sometimes when you wake up, you have a certain song stuck in your head?

that morning my song was the traditional javanese song ibu used to sing around her house. she’s a hummer, she hums a lot of songs as she pittered-pattered about the house. sometimes, more often than not it’s a church song, something from the Madah Bakti or the Puji Syukur. sometimes it’s this song, lir ilir.

I went onto youtube and listened to lir ilir a few times.

Today, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend Lindsey called me. She told me that she had just lost her grandma to cancer. I don’t think I’m in any place to console her, but I found myself telling her, “don’t worry, your grandma is in a much better place.  i heard heaven is a very cozy, awesome place. i mean, i’ve never been, but i think it’s pretty awesome. maybe your grandma will meet my grandma up there. they’ll have fun.”

she said, “are you sure you’ve never been?”

then, just like that, we laughed. we shared a laugh. i said, we should celebrate our grandmothers and their lives. (maybe next time we’ll share a meal and some cheers for these  kick-ass ladies we get to call grandma.)

as I hung up the phone, one of my writing blocks dissolved into a puddle of inspiration.

and so this post was written.

Rest in Peace, Bu. You will forever be remembered, loved, and prayed for.

yangtifk

yangti and franklin, her first and only great-grandbaby. july 2012.

5 Lagu Romantis Favorit Gue

Lagi iseng aja nih, pengen ngedaftarin 5 lagu romantis kesukaan gue. Gue sertakan video dari yutub juga untuk masing2 lagu, kali2 ada yg pengen dengerin.

1. Landslide – Dixie Chicks

Sebetulnya lagu ini pertama dinyanyikan oleh Fleetwood Mac. Tapi favorit gue adalah versi yang dinyanyikan oleh Dixie Chicks. Gara2 nonton episode The Mindy Project hari Selasa kemaren, dimana aktor Mark Duplass menyanyikan lagu ini sambil ngegitar, gue pun jadi penasaran. Ternyata di yutub sejuta umat sudah men-cover lagu ini.. dan covernya juga bagus2. Gitarnya mantap dan romantis banget. Check out for yourself :

2. Fly Me Away – Annie Little

Kalo gak salah, pertama kali gue denger lagu ini di iklannya Kindle deh. CMIIW ya bagi yang tau. Liriknya cute banget, nadanya sweet dan imut2 gitu. Malah gue sempet mikir, kalo suatu hari nanti gue & suami mau vow renewal, gue pengen deh ada lagu ini dan kita berdua dansa2 romantis gitu. Hahahaha.

3. Bruises – Chairlift

Ini juga, pertama denger dari iklan di tv, kalo ga salah, iklannya salah satu produknya Apple. (ketauan kan gue keseringan nonton tipi? hahahahaha.) Liriknya juga imut seperti Fly Me Away di atas. This song is super addictive. Trus, si vokalis cowok disini suaranya menurut gue pribadi sih gak terlalu bagus2 banget, tapi kok bikin deg2an ya? hahaha. Nge-bass gimanaaaa gitu. I think this song is romantic in a quirky way.

4.  Kiseki – GReeeeN

Sebagai penggemar Jpop, tentunya ada dong satu lagu Jpop di daftar ini. Setelah baca terjemahan liriknya, gue makin tersepona. Sebagai lagu romantis, mungkin lagu ini nggak spesial2 banget, ya tipikal lagu unyu mendayu2 yg liriknya mana tahan. Tapi, videonya menurut gue sweet banget.

5. Our House – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

“Our House, is a very very fine house, with two cats in the yard..” I mean, it’s just adorable. Ini lagu lama banget. Tapi bener2 romantis buat gue. Bukan romantis yang model2 “I’ll cut my heart open for you” ya, tapi lebih romantis yang dewasa, menurut gue. Karena lagu ini menceritakan tentang sebuah rumah yang dimiliki bersama, romantis yang settling down gitu lho. For an ole’ married lady like me, this song is so, so perfect.

Temen2 sendiri gimana, apa lagu romantis favorit kalian? Share yuk.🙂

Olahraga

Sejak kecil, gue bukanlah orang yang atletis. Gue paling sebel dengan pelajaran Olahraga. Disaat anak anak laen menanti nanti pelajaran OR, gue selalu berharap harinya ujan, atau gurunya gak masuk, atau alasan apapun yang bisa membatalkan olahraga. Gue tuh payah banget deh, sama sekali tidak berbakat olahraga. Kalo lari lambat. Maen basket, dribble bola aja kagak becus. Maen bultang, lumayanlah. Itupun karena gue, adik dan sepupu2 gue sering bermain bultang kalo kami ketemu di saat liburan. Juga dulu suka bultang-an sama tetangga yg sesama umur.

Berenang juga baru sekitar umur 15an gue bisa. Karena nenek gue memaksa gue untuk les berenang, dan gue dulu pernah hampir kelelep di kolam renang pas lagi main2 sama beberapa temen semasa SMP di kol-ren lokal deket rumah. Sejak bisa berenang, itulah satu satunya olahraga yang gue demen. Alesannya, karena berenang nggak bikin keringetan. Cetek abis kan?

Sebetulnya gue ini aneh, suami juga suka bilang gitu. Kalau olahraga ada tujuannya, gue gak seneng. Tapi kalau untuk fun, kayak macem hiking pas camping gitu misalnya, nah gue demen noh yang gitu2. Jalan  juga gak apa2, rasanya karena dibawa fun aja. Selain itu bisa cetrak cetrek foto, dan moodnya beda, karena ini “liburan”. Tapi kalo tujuannya spesifik tuk olahraga.. no way jose. Gue udah males duluan. Gue ini seneng outdoor, seneng jalan2 diluar, ke pantai, danau gitu. “For a person who claims to love the outdoors, you are awfully lazy in exercising”, katanya. Gue bales senep, “I don’t see any correlation between loving the outdoors and exercising.”

Hahaha.

Sewaktu hamidah dulu,satu satunya “olahraga” yg gue lakukan adalah yoga hamil. Saat hamidah, gue lelet dan nggak ada nafsu olahraga. Sluggish lah pokoknya. Alesannya gue pilih yoga sederhana, karena tidak banyak gerakan yang sulit (yoganya yang beginner inih, bukan yang advanced yang pake lipet2 badan udah kayak pretzel aja) dan lama-lama efeknya ke gue bagus, yaitu menenangkan. Suami gue selalu cerewet, “ayo jalan sana! Jogging kek! Apa kek!” Pernah suatu kali disaat gue hamidah, gue dan suami ke Chicago untuk ke KJRI, sekalian jalan2. Sekelar dari KJRI, rencana kita mau ke Navy Pier. Ada satu wahana di Navy Pier, kayak Bianglala di Dufan, dan itu ukurannya besar bisa kelihatan dari jauh. Navy Pier dan KJRI lokasinya secara teori tidak terlalu jauh tapi kalau ditempuh pake kaki ya jatoh2nya jauh aje palagi bagi manusia macam gue yg tingkat endurancenya sangat rendah dan sama sekali tidak atletis.

Asumsi gue adalah, kita akan naek bus ke sana. Banyak kok bis di downtown yang arahnya ke Navy Pier. Suami gue ngangguk2 aja pas gue tanya. Dia bilang, “ayo, kita jalan beberapa blok ke depan, kayaknya ada deh di sana setopan bis yg  arahnya ke Navy Pier.” Gue hayuk hayuk aja. Jalanlah kita beberapa blok. Terus kok nggak ada ya setopan bisnya? Nah ini kok malah di area yg jarang bis? Gue tanya lagi suami. Dia bilang, ayuk, kita jalan aja mungkin beberapa blok lagi. Beberapa kali nih kejadian seperti ini, yang seharusnya membuat gue mulai curiga. Tapi saat itu gue pikirannya sangat absent-minded, kalo mobil ibaratnya nyetir dalam cruise control. Inilah salah satu sifat jelek gue, absent-minded. Pikiran sering kosong, dan nggak fokus kemana2. Disaat gue absent minded, kalo disuruh ini itu ya gue turutin aja, lha wong pikiran gue lagi on cruise control kok.

Jalanlah kita, sampe kaki gue pegel. Tiap kali gue ngeluh, suami langsung mengalihkan perhatian gue ke yg laen, misalnya “eh lihat tuh, bangunannya bagus!” atau “Wah, mobil orang itu norak banget ya veleg-nya!” atau “Wah, cewek itu cantik, rambutnya bagus.” Yang ini bikin gue makin mesem. Maklum nek, waktu eike hamil penampilan sangat lusuh bak gembel, boro2 glowing. Jadi ya eik agak2 sensi denger suami memuja muji cewek lain, hahhaha. Filter antara otak dan mulutnya sang suami tercinta ini terkadang ngadat sepertinya.

Itu kita jalan dari KJRI dimana si Bianglala Navy Pier kagak kelihatan sama sekali, terus mulai terlihat secara perlahan dari jauh, sampai terlihat separuhnya, sampai terlihat jelas, ohlala… udah jalan berapa kilo ini gue? Bukankah rencana kita mau naik bis?

Pas si bianglala mulai terlihat di pandangan, suami bilang, “Ya udah tanggung kali ya, mendingan kita jalan aja terus sampai Navy Pier, deket ini kok, udah kelihatan kan dari sini?” Saat itu gue yg udah kelaparan dan pengen makan langsung senep aja, “Ya udahlah! Dari sini mah naek bis juga mungkin malah lama nunggunya. Udah lapar nih. Yaudah kita jalan aja!”

Kamipun sakseis jalan terus sampai tujuan. Hampir sejam lah. Menurut google map sih 41 menit. Mungkin itu bagi orang orang normal yang atletis ya. Bagi eike yg hamil dan lelet …. ya begitulah. Belakangan, suami gue mengaku bahwa dese emang sengaja bohong gue soal “jalan beberapa blok sampai ke setopan bis”, karena emang dia mau gue jalan.

Ngok.

Sesudah lahiran, gue gak olahraga sama sekali. Boro boro olahraga. Mandi aja musti tunggu suami pulang dulu.  Sampai sekitar November 2010, kami tidak olahraga sama sekali. Kenapa sampai November itu? Karena saat itu, di dekat rumah dibuka gym baru yang biaya keanggotaannya sangat terjangkau. Dan gym ini gencar banget promosinya. Sering kirim selebaran iklan dan kirim stafnya ketok pintu ke pintu buat ngiklanin bisnisnya. Gue yang orangnya gampang terkena godaan iklan, langsung bilang suami, “Yuk kita ikutan gym ini.  $9  aja per orang per bulannya! Deket rumah lg, bisa jalan ke sana!” Suami gue yg biasanya udah kebal dengan segala bujukan gue untuk ngabisin duit, kali ini manggut2 sambil ngeliat selebaran iklan. “Okelah! Lagian nanti biaya membership gym ini bisa di reimburse sama perusahaan!” *kopet abis, hahaha* Memang di perusahaan tempat dia kerja saat itu benefitnya lumayan oke, kalau kita general check up per tahun dan hasilnya bagus, kondisi kita sehat dan fit menurut standar mereka, nanti mereka akan gantiin biaya gym membership kita.

Sejak saat itu, kamipun rajin ke gym… sekitar 8 bulanan lah, kita rajin. Tiap dua hari sekali, kalo males ya seminggu sekali atau dua kali. Lari di treadmill, terus strength exercise menggunakan berbagai macam mesin mereka. Habis itu… mulai deh terjadi kemalasan.. sekitar agustus tepatnya. Waktu itu, kita ada konflik sama tetangga gara2 anjing mereka yg menggonggong nonstop. Bikin gue males keluar rumah karena males aja kalo berpapasan sama orang2 itu. Cetek abiskah gue? Yes, you can call me that. Dan teman2 tau sendiri, kalo olahraga itu sekalinya berhenti, mau mulai lagi susah.

Cari motivasinya itu tepatnya, yang susah.

Saat itu keluarga kita juga lagi kesulitan, karena suami gue kehilangan kerjaan. Membership gym pun terpaksa kami berhentikan, demi mengurangi pengeluaran yang nggak penting. Akhirnya terbengkalai lah niat olahraga, saat itu kita moodnya down dan fokusnya di suami cari kerjaan baru. Kalo dipikir2, mungkin disaat down itulah saat yg tepat untuk menggiatkan olahraga supaya pikiran kita lebih positif dan energi juga lebih banyak… tapi entah kenapa, saat itu ya kami down sekali, boro2 pengen olahraga.

Sesekali gue olahraga dirumah, pake videonya Jillian Michaels, yang Shredded Abs.. ceritanya eike pengen membakar semua lemak2 diperut gitchuu, kali2 dapet sikspek.. hahahahaha. Ngimpi bener gue. Kadang2 gue yoga, bukan yoga yg full intensity, tapi yoga yang meditasi gitu, gue berharap pikiran gue yg waktu itu lagi stress bisa tenang sedikit.

Tahun 2012, well… karena sejak beberapa bulan terakhir 2011 kami nggak banyak olahraga, kemalasannya masih kebawa terus. Di musim dingin apalagi cyin, duh mau keluar rumah aje males bener. Summer tahun lalu gue mudik, dan suami disini. Suami gue berniat untuk menggiatkan lagi olahraga, and that’s what he did. Selama gue dan si ucrit mudik, dia rajin beneuuur lari di greenway deket rumah. Bukan itu aja, dia juga mulai strength exercise pake app Maximum Capacity yg dia donlot di hp-nya. Terus makan pun dia mulai pake diet paleo.

Saat gue dan ucrit balik kemari lagi, dia emang terlihat segar bugar dan lingkar pinggangnya nyusut beberapa inci. Tapi makan cuman sayur ama daging doang, tanpa karbohidrat macam nasi, roti, pasta atau kentang.. gue yg saat itu baru aja pulang dari the Land of Rice alias Indonesia, merasa pesimis. Mana bisa diet model begindang? Apa2 kalo ga ada karbo-nya mana enak?

Terus suami pun ngajak gue lari bareng di greenway. Sama ucrit juga, tapi dianya di stroller, didorong suami.  Beuh, sehabis lari itu, gue rasanya mau mati. Beneran ini nggak lebay. Besoknya badan gue semua rasanya ngilu.

Gue mulai ikut diet Paleo juga, atas dorongan (atau mungkin tepatnya persuasi yang sangat kuat/hampir paksaan, hahahaha) suami. Bok, badan eike tak cocok sama paleo. Gue jadi sering pusing, terasa lemas, energi berkurang. Boro2 ada energi untuk olahraga. Suami gue sih mengklaim bahwa paleo membuatnya jadi lebih seger. “I feel fantastic when I eat Paleo!” katanya.

Ya terserah kaulah, my dear.

As for me? I stopped Paleo. Gue makan seperti biasa, pake nasi. Namapun orang endonesah mak, some habits die hard. Gue tidak merasa lemas2 dan pusying2 lagi, energi kembali seperti semula. Suami gue geleng2 kepala. “Tau gak bahwa nasi itu kandungan gulanya tinggi? Semua itu kalori kosong!” yadayadayada.

Dan sejak Thanksgiving di akhir November dan di bulan Desember tentunya semua diet Paleonya itu dibuang keluar jendela, karena…. Holidays! Segala makanan yg penuh mentega, terigu, gula, keju, krim.. wah lengkaplah pokoknya. Mulai hari2 terakhir 2012 dia bilang, “pokoknya mulai tahun 2013 kita kembali giat lari lagi! Gue mau paleo lagi. ”

Maka, kamipun akan memulai lari besok pagi di greennway lagi. Suamipun akan mulai makan cuma sayur dan daging lagi. Gue sih teteup makan nasi dong.  Sebelum berangkat kerja hari ini, suami gue bilang, “Pick a 5k race to run in March. So we’ll have 2 months to train.”

Alamaaaaaak.

Untungnya, tidak ada race yang menarik di bulan Maret. Adanya di awal April. hahaha. Sama aja kali ya? Mungkin ada baiknya kita daftar ke race ini sekarang, jadi ada motivasi bagi gue untuk olahraga. Karena gue ini orangnya deadline-minded. Kalau ga ada deadline, dijamin nunda nunda terus.

Mungkin tahun ini kami akan bener2 serius di olahraga ini. Apakah lari, atau yoga, atau strength exercise. Gue nggak begitu demen lari, lebih seneng berenang. Tapi setidaknya gue akan coba latihan sampai April, dan mengikuti race 5k.  Habis itu, kalo emang masih suka ya diterusin. Kalau nggak ya, mungkin gue akan kembali yoga atau berenang kali.

Doakan kami teman2, mudah2an niatan baik mau olahraga konsisten tercapai. Amiinn. Kalau nggak ya… well, at least we tried, right?

😀

2012

We have about 6.5 hours in my neck of the woods until the clock strikes midnight and it will be a whole new year.

Did anybody say we weren’t gonna make it through 2012.. ya know, the whole Mayans armageddon and shit? Welp, looks like we came out of it on the other side (relatively) unscathed, huh?

What’s everyone doing tonight ? Or, for those who are already in the future, what did you do last night?

We’re (mostly) staying home, watching movies on the couch with my oversized sweatpants and pigging out on a variety of appetizer snacks. Gluttony is the name of the game, friends. Before that though, we’re having Korean BBQ with some friends. Ain’t nothing like grilled meat to say “HAPPY NEW YEARS”, I tell ya.

2012 has been a very interesting year for me. A few of very prominent, important things became a reality to me. I made a pilgrimage back home. It’s certainly a year of ups and downs, and as a family now we’re still getting through a storm, but generally, I say we’re on to a very happy start. This year I became quite close with my brother-in-law’s girlfriend Lindsey, a place I thought I’d never come to. This year I’ve met some new, very kind and genuine mommy friends, a year ago I had just one. This year our relationship with some of my husband’s family was tarnished. It’s most unfortunate, but such is life, I suppose. Maybe next year will be the year for making amends in this regard… we’ll see. This year my son has become a much bigger (little) boy. An active part of the family. He remains the most amazing part, my biggest achievement in life.

This year I met my two best friends. It’s been years, and I’ve known these ladies half my life, we were partners in crime and they’ve seen me through better and worse days. I am so, so thankful for that.

This year, through this blogging medium, I was able to meet with Rika, a blogger whose reading I’ve been a fan of for quite sometime. I truly enjoyed meeting her & her awesome little family. She was so adorable, a beautiful woman, very softspoken and smart. Maybe next year, we’ll meet again ya Rik?

.. I also hope that my driving will improve soon enough that maybe I’ll be able to head southeast and visit Rifi and her family. If not, Fi, I’ll wait for you here in STL, okay ?😀

And for the rest of you blogging friends, maybe next time we’ll have the chance to meet in Indo ?

Either way, thank you for reading this blog, thank you for being a friend. I know I’m not much of a good blogger, my posts are few and far between..hahaha. But I want you to know that I think you’re all awesome.

Have a fantastic New Years, you guys!