Monday, January 1, 2018

Goodbye 2017! Hello 2018!

2017 is a "new" year for me! I'm blessed with a new baby, a new house and a new boss in my new 30s' status! And, a sweet mummy just reminded me about my new short hair too!
I'm thankful for God's blessings but I know days ahead would be challenging and busy. I started the year full of worries (I didn't even know about getting a new boss then!) and feeling tired even before jumping into it.
12 months flew by and I'm so thankful that we've made it so far! Indeed, God grants me just enough faith and strength to pull through the days! While God's blessings are bountiful, he didn't take away the challenges and problems. He just granted more power to handle them. Through this challenging journey, I was reminded of how weak and helpless I'm. I've learnt more about trusting and seeking God.

Looking back 2017, so much has happened!

We started the year packing up our old house and moving into in law's place when I was still pregnant. We stayed there for 8 months before moving into our new place.

On our 7th wedding anniversary, we collected the keys to our new house and celebrated over dinner at the Fullerton Hotel. It's where we had our wedding banquet and 6/7 wedding anniversary celebrations! We had our 5th at Bali.
I celebrated my big 3 with a staycation in April. Since I was heavily pregnant, we couldn't do anything too fancy like the countries hopping for Hubby when he turned 30!
CHAOS threw me a surprise celebration and totally caught me off guard. I didn't even put on any make up! So happy to be able to celebrate all our 30th birthdays together this year! Here's a photo of us all in short hair for the very first time in 17 years!
Thankful for more celebrations and birthday wishes from sweet friends! May treated me to a memorable lunch and customized macarons with my name! Genevieve treated me to a sumptuous Hai Di Lao lunch and colleagues gifted me presents too! 

Weeks later, we welcomed Avalyn into our arms! It was so much joy but worries too. Avalyn was born so tiny at 35 weeks. Thankfully, she managed to catch up while a bit. She's growing well now!

At the same time, we had our home renovation going on and some mishap happened in the family. It doubled (perhaps tripled) up the stress level. I seriously wondered how we could pull through then. With God's protection, we made a narrow escape. Things settled down by End June/Early July. I'm thankful for the help, support and prayers given by family and friends. Thank you dearest brother for being so strong to take care of everything while I was confined at home. While I like to keep the details private online (family and friends all know about it), I'm sharing it so that I would remind myself of God's grace. Some might think that life has been smooth sailing for me, but it's not. Instead, this year has been a very tough and busy one.

Hubby shouldered on the whole defect check and rectification process, renovation planning and supervision. It has been a draining journey but he has certainly did a great job!
We had the pleasure to join May's and Janice's family on a trip to Koh Samui before I ended my maternity leave. We also celebrated Emma's 4th bday there! It was a fun and memorable experience! Avalyn was just 3+ months! Thankful to know these 2 fun loving families better!

I headed back to work 2 weeks earlier in late Aug. Things were and are still busy. I had to quickly get up to speed and adapt to my new boss. Despite all, I'm thankful to be able to leave work on time. I worked at on some night after the girls sleep and during my leaves but don't mind as long as I get to spend time with the family. In fact, I would work more if I have the energy to do so as I don't like the feeling of being behind time.

At last, my hard work over the past 3 years at current work place paid off. I got a promotion! I don't talk much about work online but I think this deserve a mention. I thought the chance was really low since I was on maternity leave and had a new boss (my 3rd boss in 3 years). So, it's really by God's grace! While I'm not a career women, I take pride in my work. To me, it's my way to be a good testimony of God. I must say it gets more tiring these days but I'm sure God will continue to watch over me.

 We actually planned to move into our new house when I was still on maternity leave so that I've more time to pack. But alas, home defect check and renovation took longer than expected so we ended up moving in Late Sept after I went back to work.
Again, things went off track. I was caught up with unpacking, packing of the new house, family and more work. It took me a long while to feel more settled.
After moving in for 3 months, I'm still not feeling 100% settled. I guess, I'm too overwhelmed with the girls and work that I find hard to get a good balance. Honestly, I'm quite weighed down by work. I pray that I would do better at juggling next year! Unlike when we got our first house, we didn't host a big housewarming. This time, we hosted several groups of family and close friends (couple more not pictured here, sorry!) for more intimate gatherings.

Our family went on a church retreat at JB in Dec! It's my parents' and Avalyn's first retreat! Avalyn was baptized on Christmas Eve! The grandparents and uncle dale came and witnessed this important moment!

It will take another few more paragraphs to talk about how taking care of both girls are like. In short, I thought days with Avalyn would be somewhat like what we had with Emmalyn. But, it has been very different! We have a more flexible routine and head out more often as Emmalyn loves to be out. We visit the grandparents on weekends evenings almost every week, attend church on Sunday morning. So, we plan other activities on sat morning/afternoon or sun afternoon. We try to fit in nap time for Emma but sometime we skip it to have some fun. We are still learning how to be better parents to these 2!

I'm also thankful for the opportunities to share my experiences and partner many brands. It has been my passion to blog, and record snippets of happenings on photos and writings. It's my way of organizing my thoughts, enjoying moments and recording memories. It takes more time and thoughts than it looks like. I'm thankful for a supportive hubby who helped me a lot. I'm thankful for the support given by the blogging and social media community. To you who drop by, support and follow this humble blog of mine, thank you so much! For the new year, I look forward to sharing more about my journey as a working mother to 2!

2017 has been such a busy year, I rushed through the last quarter of 2017 like never before. I pray that I could do lesser for 2018. I would love to take time to focus on really important things and enjoy more moments; to spend more quality time with my families and friends. Also, I need to learn to set aside more time for myself and hubby! We had quite a bit of couple time this year but just one movie date! The rest of the time was handling house stuff together. Most importantly, I would like to have more time to do my quiet time and read the Bible.
I'm thankful to be able to stay home during the last 2 weeks of the year. I had a hair cut, met up with friends and church mates, organized those "hidden mess" at home. I tried to work and completed some blog posts too! Most importantly, I had some time for myself to reflect how God has brought me through the past 1 year.
While I'm not ready for the new year, I'm all ready to start 2018 afresh!

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