Friday, July 5, 2013

Europe Holiday 2009

Sometime during the end of March, Sham and I went on a 3-week holiday to Europe. We spent time in the UK, Switzerland and Germany.
It was a wonderful, wonderful time (Yes, it was at this holiday that our child was conceived. We made good use of our time there, you see)
We met up with old friends, made some new ones, had a 3-day stay at the beautiful Lake District, went on a 5 day road trip to northern England, took long, leisurely walks around the lovely lakes of Geneva and tried all sorts of different delicacies at different places.
Oh we had a ball - a holiday we'll look back at with great joy in the years to come!
Here are some pictures.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LAURA!!

And many happy returns of the day to you from both of us!

For those of you who didn't know, Laura, my sister, is the reason Sham and I met at all! She introduced us to each other and was instrumental in setting us up on that very fateful blind date.
Laura, thanks to you I've found the love of my life and now... there's two less lonely people in the world!

Here's wishing you sunny days and starry nights, happy days and lotsa smiles!

Cheers, sistah!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

We're Back With NEWS!

Well, it has been long. I have no excuses. Apologies all around.

Much has been happening in our lives. I'll tell of them all in stages here.
So stay tuned.
Yes, Sham and Mel are back... and we're here to stay!

The biggest news Sham and I have to share is.... we're pregnant!

I'm 14 weeks into my pregnancy now and boy what a ride it's been so far!
But I'll write more about my very eventful first trimester later on.

For now, Sham and I and our families are just delighted with the news.
Most of all, we're SO grateful to God for blessing us with this gift and we're totally looking forward to this next phase of our lives as parents.

Our baby... our firstborn (WOW!) is due late December and we just can't wait to see him/her. Watch this space!

Another Fond Farewell

Eulogy For Aunty Merle
(1953 - 2009)
12 March 2009
Church Of The
Assumption, Petaling Jaya

If I could use one word, just one word to describe Aunty Merle, it would be this – simple. It didn’t take much to make her happy. She enjoyed the simple things in life. She worked hard, kept a good home, loved her husband and daughters, Trina and Romie, deeply and devotedly and left everything else in the hands of the Lord. There was little else she needed.

I remember Aunty Merle as being a lot of fun. She was very witty, always the one with the quick come back lines, never afraid to make fun of herself, and kept us all well entertained with many, many funny, outrageous stories! I have many happy memories of the whole family, gathered around dining tables, talking and laughing, with Aunty Merle right in the middle of it all, with her great humor and big laughs. How I will miss that!

Aunty Merle loved to eat and had a great passion for hawker food, ice cream, chocolates – the lot. She was an excellent cook and loved to cook everything herself for the numerous dinner parties we had at her home. The whole extended family would go to Aunty Merle’s house, every year for New Year’s Day lunch, where after feasting on meats during the Christmas season, we would all relish her sambar, salt-fish, ikan-bilis sambal, and more. It was something we all looked forward to and she never disappointed.

Many of you will know and have personal testimonies of Aunty Merle’s famed efficiency and meticulousness. She was extremely well organized, planned everything to the minutest detail and was ALWAYS, ALWAYS punctual. She was dependable, focused, solid. In our family, Aunty Merle was indisputably recognized as the ‘mandor’ even by my older Uncles and Aunties.

But Aunty Merle reserved her best talents for the home. In her own way, quietly but constantly and persistently, Aunty Merle poured her heart and soul into loving her husband and daughters. Fiercely loyal and protective of them, nothing else was more important. She loved them, and they loved her. Her labour of love has sowed many seeds, which I know, even with her passing, will bear much fruit. She also loved to tend to the little garden at her home and would grab any opportunity to visit a plant nursery or “borrow” plant cuttings from her sister’s and sisters-in law’s garden.

Aunty Merle was a deeply spiritual person and was profoundly inspired by St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. She spent a lot of time in prayer and church related activities. She was actively involved in the communion ministry, charismatic movement and various pray groups. My aunty had a truly generous spirit. She gave freely of her time and effort, never counting the cost, asking nothing in return. Her joy was complete in simply giving.

Aunty Merle was knocked down by a car over a year ago and after a painful recovery, in December last year, it was discovered that she had a blood disorder which destroyed her red blood cells. The doctors said it was not a life threatening sickness and we all expected she would recover fully, but it was not to be. Although she fought right to the end with great courage, Jesus called her home. A few days before she died she told my dad, her brother, that she had told Jesus, that no matter what sickness or pain Jesus lets her endure, she will cling on to Him even more tightly.

What a huge loss to us, her community, her family. One we were not prepared for, one that will take a while to register and longer to overcome. Aunty Merle will be sadly missed.

Before I end, on behalf of the family, I want to offer these words of comfort Aunty Merle’s daughters, my cousins, Trina & Romie. Mummy was taken away too soon. Your young hearts may not even comprehend it yet. Life without a parent is scary, daunting, confusing. But remember that the great love of Jesus is stronger than the love of a parent. Trust in Jesus, just like Mummy did. He will see you through.

Friends and family, your presence here today is a testament of your love and fondness for Aunty Merle. On behalf of the family, I thank you being here, for your words of comfort and your prayers. They mean so very much to us.

The Lazy Wife's Dinner

If I may say so myself, I'm actually a pretty okay cook.

Granted, I may not yet know the difference between fennel and fenugreek, understand if meat and fish curry powder really does produce difference tastes, or see why I need to distinct between green & red chilies, but well, I can whip up some fairly decent Indian dishes for my husband and I.

Indian cooking is a LOT of work though and there are days when the I abhor even the thought of chopping 1 more garlic or slicing 1 more onion! And on these days, I thank God for the the genius who invented instant pizza. More specifically, the genius who invented this!

Introducing the lazy wife's easy dinner - Dr Oetker's Ristorante Pizza!

It's just great, I tell ya! They come in 6 different topping and with a thin crust, most of which we've tried and are YUMMY! And considering that it IS fast food, it's actually pretty healthy too! And filling. And DELICIOUS. And so easy to prepare. And DELICIOUS. And cooks really fast too. And SO.VERY.DELICIOUS!

It's an absolute life saver!

P.S. - Mums, if you're reading this, we have this nothing more than twice a month, I swear!

Our Langkawi Getaway

So Sham & I decided to utilize our free stay and flew to Langkawi last weekend.

I must say, the Berjaya Beach and Spa Resort, Langkawi is a great place to stay! We were lucky, it wasn't very crowded the weekend we were there. We were told, the place the place gets SO crowded sometimes, it looks like a circus!

So thank goodness for our good timing!

We were treated with excellent service the moment we arrived. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. I was very impressed.

Oh and they actually upgraded our room from the already fabulous Premier Chalet on Water, to the Executive Suite on Water!

Here are some photos of our stay...

It was a short but very memorable stay... one of many, many we plan to take!

Our First Valentines


So I got flowers and a teddy bear this Valentines.

But it was my husband taking my car to the mechanic and getting my spare tyre sorted, without me asking, that totally won my heart.

That, and the pink helium baloon my brother-in-law pinched from some restaurant to give me.

It's always, always the little things that matter :)


My Favourite Girls


This photo is of me and my favourite girls, taken over Christmas at our place, when we had them over for dinner with their significant others.

Life has taken us to different phases in life and to different parts of the world and we don't get to meet as much as we'd like to, but when we do, it's like not a day has passed since our last meet.

Except that we're older, better, stronger... and still connected by values that bind us, the laughter that sustains us, and this fabulous bond of sisterhood that feeds us.

I love you, gals!

The Goat Farm

Two of my ex-uni mates, a very entrepreneurial couple, recently decided to invest in the goat business. Apparently a lot of money was to be made in goat meat! They'd bought a goat farm in Kuala Selangor some months back and have been asking us to come visit for ages.

So, just before Christmas, Sham and I took some of our friends and siblings there for a visit.

Man oh man... what fun we had! I'd never been to a goat farm before, so everything was so new! My friend, Anand, took us on the grand tour around the farm. I thought it was all so cool - the baby goats, the mummy goats, the big papa goat, goat houses, goat food! He explained the mating process, the birthing process, the milking process, the grazing, the feeding, the buying and selling. Apparently, a lot of work goes into producing the perfect goat!

Anand got his workers to prepare our lunch at the farm and they cooked up a feast! Chicken, wild boar, vege, dhal, all fried, cooked and grilled to perfection! Yummm!

It was such a swell time! To be so close to nature, surrounded by tall trees and with friends you love the most is simply... bliss!

Happy New Year!

Hey all!
A Belated Happy New Year to all our readers!

The last two weeks of 2008 were hectic and fun, filled with family, food and friends, as I'm sure was yours! There was Christmas eve mass, the New Years Eve's do, parties at ours, parties at friends of ours, exchanging of presents, the visiting of relatives, and food and more food!

It was our first Christmas together and definitely one to remember :)

Here's what Sham got me


And here's what I got him
Oh and here's a (bad) picture of our crib!
More posts to come!


The Building of the Crib

The husband is busying himself making our very first Christmas crib!

Growing up, at Christmas, my mum would get my brothers to build our crib, rather than use the same store-purchased one every year. I remember, my brother, Adrian, was pretty good at making them. One year, he made a pretty impressive one with wood and nails and dried leaves and all... and even equipped it with a little bulb, creating a warm glow around the crib at night time.

Sham & I thought it would a good idea to start the same tradition in our home too. I went out and bought the figurines, even the cows and the sheep, and Sham started work on the crib.


 

It's half done. He's planning on completing it this weekend. So watch this space to see what our very first crib will look like!

The Luckiest Day of My Life!

Look where I won us a 3D2N stay at!!
Thanks to a Spin and Win promotion by Ralph Lauren, Sham & I get to stay at the Berjaya Beach Resort and Spa, Langkawi for free! And at the Premier Chalet on Water, no less!

Now if you know me, you know this doesn't happen everyday! I've never won a thing in my life! Not even a lucky draw!

Not to mention, this win came after a string of free gifts I had already been given!

You see, I'd purchased two Ralph Lauren cologne for both our dads for Christmas. The very nice sales lady gave me 3 free sample perfumes and a free travel bag! She then gave me a RM10 gift voucher to use with my next purchase AND told me I had the chance to 'spin the wheel' - twice! So I did. I won a Ralph Lauren perfume with my first spin, and the trip with my second!
I would have pranced around in glee, but well... I was too much in shock to react! I mean, my arms were filled with freebies all in a span of 30 minutes!

Am I lucky or am I lucky?

Thank goodness I decided to get the dads cologne for Christmas, and not socks!!

Eulogy for Uncle Gren

Beloved uncle. Irreplaceable. We miss him very much.


EULOGY FOR UNCLE GREN
(1951 –2008)
8 DECEMBER 2008
CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION, PETALING JAYA


Eulogies are hard to write, but this particularly so. I never expected to be standing here, to talk about this man, my uncle Gren. Someone so full of life, of joy, always smiling, upbeat, now lying cold in a coffin. It’s almost hard to believe.

Let me tell you about my uncle Gren.

As I was writing this, I tried to think about the number of times I’ve seen Uncle Gren being or looking anything other than happy, pleasant, jovial, FUN! I don’t think I ever have. Although he’s had his share of troubles, maybe more than his share, he has never ever let any of it bring him down. The trials and tribulations of this life never robbed him of that almost childlike trust and faith in the goodness of this world and in the goodness of people. He chose to live with optimism and chose to always believe in the good. Hate, suspicion, anger – these things were simply foreign to him, to his nature.

Maybe it is this, that made him too good, too innocent to live among us in this world. They say a childlike attitude is the closest imitation of Jesus and in his own way, with his cheeriness, his exuberance and joy, Uncle Gren was Christ among us.

I will miss my uncle’s presence in Nana’s house. I will miss him noticing and making fun of me when I put on even a little bit of weight, miss his unsolicited advice about my hair and clothes, miss his teasing, his crazy chatter, his outrageous stories.

I will miss his mannerisms, hand gestures, the many expression on his face, his loud presence at family gatherings. I will even miss the smell of Dunhill reds all around Nana’s house.

Yes, I will miss him. We all will.

Not many of you may know this, but in the last months of his life, Uncle Gren had, at long last, found love. He’d met and fallen in love with Anabelle - his sweetheart, Belle. He was so proud and so happy to tell the world of her! They were to be married but sadly this is never to be.

I take heart, though, in knowing that my uncle knew love before he died. That he experienced the happiness that comes from being loved by that one, special person.

And for that, Belle, my family and I thank you.

But I can’t end without telling you about Uncle Gren and his first love – MUSIC! He was an accomplished musician. His music career actually began at the St Nicholas’ School of the Blind where he studied. At the age of 13, he performed live on Radio & Television Malaysia when TV had just begun in the country in black and white. In his late teens, he performed with the Falcons for the Americans in Saigon, Vietnam. And later in 1971, they rocked the National Stadium of Singapore with their stunning performance.

He was a musician, through and through. It seemed that he was happiest when he was performing – he played with passion, danced with a spring in each step.

How awesome, then, that he is now a place where the singing never stops, the dancing goes on and the rejoicing is forever.

My uncle was a man who grabbed each day and lived it to the fullest, a life all of us would envy. He lived in the present, for today, knowing that tomorrow might never come. Is this not what Jesus has told us to do?

In a way, I think, perhaps this outlook of life prepared him for the eventuality of his passing. And ironic though it may be, whilst we sit here in sadness, Uncle Gren, I know you are surely happy and smiling in the arms of the Lord.

Friends, as we bid farewell to our friend, our brother, Gren, as we mourn his absence in our lives, I ask you to remember his joyful spirit, his simple and carefree personality, and to remember him in your prayers. This is what he would have wanted.

Friends and family, your presence today is a testament of your love and fondness for Gren. On behalf of the family, I thank you being here today and for your prayers. They mean so very much to us.

I leave you with these words of comfort from a song by the Alleycats, one which Uncle Gren performed.

Andainya aku pergi dulu sebelummu
Janganlah kau bersedih hati
Andainya aku tiada lagi di sisimu
Janganlah kau memencil diri
Bayangkanlah masa-masa bahagia
Semasa kau dan aku
Bermesra di langit biru.

Disini ku berjanji di saksi rambulan
Andainya ku pergi dulu
Jikalau ku pergi dulu
Ku nantimu di pintu syurga.


Shoud I go before you
Weep not for me
Remember the happy times we had together
You and I, beneath the big, blue sky

Should I go before you
If I go before you
I will await you at Heaven’s gates

The Fabulous Weekend

I walked into the office today and my colleagues asked me 'how was your weekend?.





I smiled from ear to ear and said 'It was FABULOUS!!!'
Well, it certainly was! Look what we did...
We went hiking to the very top of a waterfalls on Saturday,



had a yummy dimsum breakfast on Sunday,


and for dinner, went on a romantic dinner date :)

A Flashback!

Recently, I went with Sham to send his brother off to the airport. He was off to Europe for two weeks on business.



His girlfriend came with us and it was sweet watching them bid each other goodbye. She was clinging on lovingly to his arm and he looked just so sad that he had to leave.



It reminded me of the time, almost 2 years ago, when Sham & I were still dating and he had to go to Europe for 2 weeks. Shortly after he'd flown off, I sent this email, to Jeevan, the friend he was going to live with there for a few days, before work began.



Dearest Jeevan,

Hi there :-) How are you? We haven't met but I have a HUGE favour to ask...

As I write this, precious cargo is airborne due to arrive at your doorstep in approximately 10 hours. It is well packaged (oh very well indeed) and attractive looking (in fact, is known to be quite a turn on), is sturdy and built well (built very well), mobile (so you needn't worry about lifting or carrying), and not fragile (except when in my arms and requiring some TLC).

Said cargo has been placed in my care the past few months and as a result is functioning pretty well, in fact I believe, has never been better.

But fate has decided that it be parted from me for 2 weeks.
A sad 2 weeks indeed, as said cargo is irreplaceable, and I desperately await its return!

Back to my favour.....


.... I hope it's not too much to ask


.... but if you don't mind


.... I would be so grateful


.... and ever indebted to you


.... if you could please


.... please


.... please


.... take good care


.... extremely good care


.... of my Baby... my li'l Shamu-sweetums!!!

OK?

Basically, just do whetever it takes so that he's always smiling and happy!

Boleh?

With gratitude
Melissa

I laughed out loud reading that!

Anyway, this was Jeevan's reply.


Dear Melissa,



My my, is this lurve or what?



Umm, I did pick up some cargo from Manchester airport, although I am unsure if it is that which you describe. The rather overweight cargo I picked up does not seem to match your description. Ah, well, love is blind, so I'm told..



Hmmm.... it normally costs a fortune in alcohol to keep this guy happy and smiling, but I shall see what I can do....



Hope to see you soon, insyallah!



Jeevan



Reading that brought back a flood of memories and made me laugh out loud! Looking back, we we had an amazing courtship! It was fun,

A 'Windy' Episode

Oh this is so humiliating but I suffered a HORRIBLE case of excess wind in my tummy Sunday night!

What a terrible way to end a wonderful weekend of family & friends & church & home cooked food & movies & exercise and everything good!

Thank God Shaman got home in time after his badminton. He found me writhing in pain on our bed and rushed me to the nearest clinic. What had started as pain in my tummy had eventually led to my chest area and for a while I actually thought I was having a heart attack! Oh the pain!

Anyway, the doctor prescribed some pills which I had to take right away and THANK HEAVENS, the pain began to subside on our drive home... phew!

It sure was awful while it lasted, though! And I'd NEVER gone through some thing like this before...

Sham got me something soupy to eat, gave me more meds to take and tucked me into bed.

You know how I know my husband loves me?
He still hugs me tight to sleep even when I'm... (please, please pardon the crudeness)..... farting the night away!
Siiiighh....

Blogger Down...

I've been sick the past 3 days.

What started as a throat infection, led to fever, a runny nose, headaches, sneezing bouts, a bad cough, diarrhoea...the works! I laid in bed for most of Monday and Tuesday, complete knocked out by Polaromine and cough lynctus.

Communication with Sham has been limited to 2-3 word text messages...

... head feels heavy

... still purging

... buy soup

... no more panadol

... body hurts

... so tired

... hug me please?


Can't wait to recover fully and get back to normal life!

Fun on a Monday Nite??

Sham and I went to the Backyard Pub last nite. Fancy us at a pub on a Monday nite, sipping on whiskys and Margaritas! Haha :D

Sham had heard about this one man piece who performs there on Mondays and was supposed to be good, so we decided to go check it out.

The one man piece turned out to be a very talented and highly entertaining, 28 year old Mark Renesh!
He was awesome! A great voice and a whole range of music - the Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel, a little bit of country, a lot of stuff from the 70s, some Tracy Chapman and good ol' rock and roll! We were very entertained and had a really good time!
On a Monday nite, can you believe?

If you're ever in the neighbouhood on Mondays, head on over to Backyard! You won't regret it!

It's The Allan & Indi Show!!!



Sham & I had a wonderfully delighful time on Friday night.
We watched Malaysia's awesome comedy duo, Allan Perera & Indi Nadaraja in action!
Together, they make up the Comedy Court, a fabulous production that has been making it rounds in our live entertainment scenes since 1997.

This time round, the show is called We Don't Swear, a hilarious performance by the two that poke fun at just about everything Malaysian - our politics, our lifestyles choices, our food, our politics, uor relationships, our habits & pecularities, our politics, our weather, did I mention our politics? And oh boy, were they FUNNY!!

They were AWESOME, switching roles so easily - from corrupt Members of Parliment on minute, to typical China-men the next and then to old aunties in another!


They TOTALLY cracked us up! The dialogue, the expression and mannerism... I never laughed so much!

Man... WHAT a night!