Thursday, December 30, 2010

Season's Greetings Everyone!

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Season's Greetings to all my blog friends. I hope everyone's been having a wonderful and relaxing holiday with loads of love and laughter with family and friends.

I certainly am enjoying this long-awaited holiday season. Unfortunately both Bo and I have to work during the holiday season but Monday and Tuesday after Christmas were official public holidays and boy, did we really take advantage of that! Bolaji even left work early on Friday (which is an entirely rare thing!) and by early I mean he left at 6pm, :-) I had a half day on Friday so we were just really happy to have the time to ourselves. We had put up our Christmas tree and decorations about a week earlier so all we had to do was wait for Christmas! Even though it was our first Christmas together we wanted to keep it low-key and just enjoy this amazing year that was and bask in our own baby family and that's just what we did. I thought we had agreed to not give gifts to each other but my darling hubby snuck in a nice cozy little gift. I know he had mentioned getting me a gift the week before but then I think we had a teeny weeny little tiff and so I thought forget it. I figured it out when on Christmas day we were coming back from visiting one of our neighbors and he said he had something in the trunk of the car that he needed to get. Of course that was weird so I knew he had gotten me something. Honestly, it's so sweet and I appreciated the effort especially because I'm always ragging on him about his nonchalancy about gift-giving or celebrating any occasion. He's been really trying, what more can you ask for if not a man that tries to keep you happy?

Other than that we've just been sleeping, hanging out with friends, exercising, and then sleeping some more! We've also been reminiscing about this wonderful, amazing year that has just passed us by and daydreaming about our future. Bo has an exciting new opportunity coming up so we're anxiously waiting for everything to fall into place for that, I will also be making a big career move this year by God's grace. And then we are just enjoying this phase of life, of our marriage. We've never been more comfortable in our relationship than we are now. Everything just seems right. Exactly right where we are supposed to be.

I look back on the past year and I just can't believe it all. I mean the bountiful and generous grace of God is awe-some, in the full sense of the word. Through paying for our weddings, paying rent, travelling to a few places we wanted to go, unexplained illnesses, fighting possible infertility,successes in our career, and all the arguments and "storming and norming" of the phase into marriage. It's incredible to think it all. My experience has been that getting married is very similar to a larvae turning into a beautiful butterfly. It's definitely a journey and I had to put the old me to rest and embrace my new life, my new phase. It was difficult. I lost a lot of friends, family, dreams, illusions in the transition but more than ever I gained a new confidence, a new appreciation of life, a new outlook. I think I'm in a more healthy place of being now than I've ever been. I have an incredible, amazing partner and feel confident going into the world because I know his love envelops me.

I'm also hopeful for 2011. Some friends of mine are in really great relationships and for some reason I'm convinced this is THE year so I'm looking forward to bridesmaids duties and easing them into the transition as well. I had a dream last week that three of my friends got married, and one of Bo's friends who recently got married had a child. And I'm a dreamer, so I'm very much looking forward to those experiences. I need a few more friends to join me on this side of the fence!

Anyway, I wish everyone a very happy new year ahead and pray for safety, health, success in everything you do, prosperity, and a year of laughter and love ahead!

Lastly, PLEASE do take a moment to pray for one my blog friends. I don't know her and she doesn't know me but I read her blog faithfully and have followed her journey through wedding, to pregnancy, to the premature birth of her baby, Brayden. Their lovely family have been through a lot as they go from complication to complication with Brayden and my heart really really goes out to them. Prayers are one way of plugging into our community as Christians so please if you can do visit Live. Love. Laugh and then pray for Heather, her hubby and her cute baby Brayden. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Husband-y

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I was making my regular blog rounds this morning (instead of working) and I came across Dawn's post at The Happy Nappy Bride. Basically the post is about the things that she loves that her husband does, not because she can't do them but she'd just rather not and enjoys it when the hubby does them. She's labeled these things her "husband-y" list. Great idea! I have quite a few of those things to that I can classify as husband-y, so I've adopted her idea (and picture, thanks Dawn!) and created my own list. Some are similar but most are not - I can only WISH Bolaji would help set up the christmas tree, he's a regular grinch and I'm still working on converting him. :-)


Kemi's 8 Things That are Husbandy

  • Laundry. Yep. You read right. Bolaji is a laundry freak. I don't know why but he's got laundry on his mind pretty much at any time. The first thing he thinks about when he walks in the door is if there's electricity, and whether the clothes in the washer need to be dried or put through the wash spin. He's also very particular about how much softener goes on vis a vis detergent. Yes. It's weird. But hey, so long as I don't have to add that chore to my list, I'm happy!
  • Arranging Kitchen Cabinets. Especially the spice cupboard. I have an unhealthy obsession with spices. I amass them and then shove them in the cupboard. It's inevitable that at some point the Thai 7-spice bottle after being used just once and shoved to the back of the cabinet will expire. This is Bo's job, clear out the spice cabinet. It usually starts with me complaining about how I can't find my lemongrass and he coming to the rescue and then rolling his eyes and then re-arranging the whole cabinet. This happens with the tupperware cabinet too.
  • Cockroach Killer. I hate cockroaches. I just don't like them and they make my skin crawl. I also hate weevils, weevils give me goosebumps. There's also this weird flying insect thingy that gathers around the fluorescent light (admittedly these ones are seasonal). I remember when we first moved in together I made the rookie mistake of keeping our bag of beans in the cabinet. WRONG MOVE. I went in and the entire bag was filled with weevils...I ran screaming into the bedroom and dear hubby had to dispose of it. This is usually my reaction to all three of the insects listed lol.
  • Driving. I can drive and drive myself to work everyday. But whenever we're going somewhere together, I just let the hubby drive. Sometimes I feel ridiculous say if we're just going down the street, but I just like sitting back and letting him take care of it.
  • Lightbulb Changer. For some reason I almost never notice when a lightbulb goes out, unless it does as I'm flicking the switch. Even then, I almost never remember when I'm going shopping to buy a lightbulb. Bolaji ALWAYS remembers such things and then when we get home promptly changes all the bulbs that need to be changed.
  • In Charge of Washing Dishes. Since I usually do most of the cooking, Bo usually does the washing up. Our agreement is that whoever cooks does not do the washing up. At first this was a bit touch and go but now we've settled so nicely into it. Again, here Bo can go a little crazy, he likes the kitchen sterile-y spic and span. Yesterday I went to bed at 11pm and at 12am, I woke up and had to drag him away from the kitchen. When I say sterile, I mean sterile. Like household magazine sterile. Yes. I know I'm very lucky he does this.
  • Travel Marshall. As everyone figures by now, Bo is more organized than I am. Nowhere is this more evident than when we're traveling. Generally, if we're traveling together all I do is pack my bags. Everything else is already sorted. This was annoying at first as I used to tell him "I'm a grown woman I can keep my own boarding pass thank you" but now, I just settle in and enjoy not having to worry about anything.
  • All Around Cheerleader. The best thing about Bolaji is that he's my number one cheerleader. When I'm down, he gets me up, when I don't feel pretty he holds my head in his hands and tells me I'm beautiful, when I'm tired and work has kicked my butt and I don't think I can, he reminds me that I can do much more than I think I can.
Bonus: We have this ritual in our home. Every morning Bo wakes up first then, showers, then coming out of the shower, jumps on the bed and plants what we call "thousand kisses" all over my face. And THIS is how I wake up, every weekday morning. I love it! So he's also my Alarm Clock!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

OMG

Saturday, December 4, 2010
Wow. I just put on my wedding dress again!

This is how it happened: I'm doing research for one of my client's at work whose work involves weddings. I suddenly felt like looking for the copies of the program to our wedding that I thought was in the bag in which my wedding dress is kept. I opened up the bag and next thing I know I take out the veil and head to the mirror in the bedroom. Bolaji's best friend's wife (they just recently got married) told me she still occasionally prances around in her veil. At the time I gave her a nutty look. That's just so nutty right? So why am I now prancing around the apartment in my veil?

Next thing I know, I take out the dress and put it on. There's a wide smile on my face and I remember how magical that day felt and how magical the wedding was. After turning every which side in front of the mirror I decide I better take it off. In my mind I'm thinking to myself, I'm NEVER giving this dress away (I've always in the back of my mind liked the idea of gifting the dress to another special bride). But now? No way!

Bolaji is away (obviously). He's travelled to the UK for a training course for work and won't be back for a week. Is it this loneliness that's making me behave nutty-like?

I can't believe I just tried on my dress and pranced around my flat. We must NEVER tell Bo about this. Lol. (Of course I will have to - full disclosure, #1 in the BoKem relationship rulebook!). He's going to be freaked out. Lol.

I'm still shocked and a little embarrassed myself.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Coco Chanel & Other Musings

Friday, December 3, 2010
The hubster and I are getting a dog! We're getting one that looks almost exactly like this one:

It's a pure breed Lhasa Apso. We actually decided we wanted a pet a while ago. I grew up with cats and dogs in the house (names: Pepa, Roger, Randy, Kitty, Shadow). Of course we also raised rabbits in our house but I digress. When I was living on my own while in college I also had a cat, unfortunately I had to give the cat away to a friend as a result of excessive travelling once I joined the working world. Bo on the other hand had never grown up with pets and has never owned one. We were visiting a friend who's dog just gave birth to a litter of puppies and for some strange reason, Bo just fell in love with the dogs and became determined to get one of them. This was actually shocking because we really had just been considering cats. I love cats, and I love them especially because they are very low maintenance and very apartment friendly. No need to take them for walks for example, and they are almost naturally housetrained. Just when we were about to get one, Bolaji vetoed this option saying that he didn't want the cat to damage our mosquito netting (flimsy excuse) and also that we knew nothing about the vet costs, etc. Fine. All of a sudden now he REALLY wants a dog. What gives? Men can be really funny sometimes I think. Dogs are much more difficult to maintain!

After begging, I agreed. So we are getting a dog. Personally, I prefer breeds like labradors, retrievers, or bulldogs. But I guess this will do. I'm sure this has something to do with nesting on both our parts, but that's okay I think. Last night at date night (yes, we still faithfully do date night once a week!) we were trying to come up with names for our dog and so far we have the following:

  1. Coco (as in Coco Chanel)
  2. Che (as in Che Guevara)
  3. Bead
  4. Bobbie
  5. Xin (pronounced Chin)
There are listed in no particular order but let me tell you only one name out of the list is mine and that is Coco. The others are from my dear husband. I mean Che Guevara? Who names their dogs that? Lol. I've said I would have to find a cute name to call him if Bo insists on Che. Xin is because Lhasa's are originally from Tibet and again my dear husband thinks giving the poor dog a Chinese name is a good way to honor that. I had to tell him over and over again that Tibetans don't tend to have Chinese names! This my guy. :-)

So we had a barrel of laughs about this and haven't come to a conclusion yet. At some point I yelled out "I'm not naming my child Xin..." to which Bo replied, "It's not a child Kemi". I think I have babies on the brain ha! After that an uncomfortable silence. Any thoughts or ideas on a name for an all white male Lhasa?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sick and Tired

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I've been so sick for the last month really. Being in Nigeria, of course I've taken several malaria pills and also several typhoid meds but it's just been quite a long journey. My worry about my health has affected my work so it only makes sense that it's affected my blogging as well. This past weekend I called everyone in my prayer circle, friends and family, and asked everyone to pray for me and for my health. Also I put my faith to practice and spoke to God myself, asking him for healing and mercy. For anyone who ever has any doubt, God is indeed real and He does listen and care for us. One of the most precious things to me about my faith is the reassurance I have at any point that I can always call on God. Truth be told he has blessed me in numerous, numerous ways, from the ones I can't count to the instances when I can actually count. So if you ever have any doubt please just remember me and cling to your faith, trusting in God. I'm still not out of the woods yet but of course what He has started can only be completed to perfection.

Bolaji has been the perfect companion during these tough times and everyday, at least once, I look up to the heavens and thank God for my angel. I have to say this is probably one of the most trying times we've had as a couple, dealing with health and mortality. We didn't know what was wrong and I wasn't getting any better. Whenever Bolaji is REALLY worried about something he resorts to obsessive housecleaning lol. Which is good for me but still leaves me worried about him. Tensions were really high and I had to remind myself that this is just his way of dealing with his frustration at being helpless and unable to sort me out. Which is sweet. There was a time I had to actually yell at him to stop moving, and sit down with me and tell him we'd be alright. When the people that wrote the vows said "in sickness and in health" I think they know exactly what they were talking about. It was tough! It got to a point that whenever I was feeling worse or particularly bad I couldn't tell him because I knew he wouldn't be able to handle it, so I would just keep it to myself. This was hard because Bo is my best friend and we share everything. Through it all though he cared magnificently for me. I felt like a princess because I didn't have to even lift a pin.

A each day passes more on our marriage meter I fall in love with my husband even more. How did I make this right choice? How was I blessed with this wonderful man? I really don't know. I've noticed around these parts that many women (and men) just want to get married, they just want that wedding and that celebration, they are so anxious. But I'm knowing first hand that after the wedding party clears, and the band stops playing, there is only you and that other individual staring at you from across the house. It's only the two of you, and life then begins. Life in all it's glory, and it's not a disneyland fairytale. Let's face it, life throws lemons at us, you don't want to be left with your wedding gown in a bag and you wondering how in the world are you going to cope. With my recent illness Bolaji and I have had to deal with unexpected "lemons" but I love him more and appreciate him even more having been through it. It's like I'm now learning what the meaning of REAL love is, not the romantic type but the God-like type.


***For those wondering, no, I'm not pregnant.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thank You Notes

Sunday, October 31, 2010
You're supposed to write and send thank you notes to all those who attended your wedding. Looking online I've seen just too many cute thank you notes sent to guests with a lovely picture of the couple from the wedding and a nice loving note tucked in. I truly wish I could do this but I don't even know where to begin. I've thanked everyone for coming to the wedding and I'm not quite sure I'm ever going to send out formal thank you notes. I should though, but in reality I'm not sure I'm going to make it.

I remembered thank you notes because I find that when I'm responding to comments it's like I'm echoing myself and it may start to sound monotonous. But really, I love reading the comments and appreciate so much that you, my blog community, read my blog and share your thoughts and experiences along the way with me. I'm so appreciative of this fact so when I see the comments section all I want to do is just say thank you profusely for the comment. So this is like one big massive thank you to all my blog readers and commenters. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart that you even care enough to read and then leave a comment. Even if you don't agree with my point of view, or slightly agree, or think I've got it wrong, or just want to share an encouragement or advise. I appreciate it all immensely.

Especially on my last post. I was really confused and just emotional about the whole thing and wanted to just acknowledge my feelings about that particular topic. I was really moved my Mwajim Al and her comments about Esther. That touched me, thanks. Blessing, who mentioned that she thinks I'm a great wife from what she's read. My heart warmed at that and you are indeed what your name says! Nitty Gritty Housewife, your first comment and it was on point and after reading it I went "Yeah!". Thanks. Anon, Myne, & Chichi, it is so reassuring to hear others share their feelings as well (and they be similar to yours!). Anon that shared her story and experiences, I appreciate that, thanks. I've learnt so much from comments like that. Braids, thank you for reminding me that (duh) pray and pray and pray. Invite God in, don't try and worry about all these things on my own. I'm blessed many times because of such reminders. And to everyone who advised me not to worry and not to add pressure to myself, it's hard to communicate but it really does encourage me to relax and take it easy.

When I say we want to be financially stable, I don't mean we want to be rich. Nope. I mean we both believe in setting a foundation up. It's one of our principles. We both for example want to set up an education fund. It's important to us. We haven't been able to do that. We both REALLY want our kids to go to private (public in the UK) boarding schools. Things like that. We absolutely do not have to have these things but it's what we want for ourselves and our families. I don't think it's about waiting for the right time per se, but being responsible and planning for what we want. If I want to drive from New York to DC, I plot the route first. It doesn't mean that I can't decide to stop over in the middle, or that I can't decide to go to Philadelphia on the same trip. It's just when you set out, you plot a route. This is the route we want to plot.

Sometimes I just falter along the way, and get scared, or get confused. But deep down, I want to stay the course. Well...that is until I make an announcement on the blog anyway. Lol.

Anyway, this is my big thank you note!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Naked Truth

Friday, October 29, 2010
The truth is I'm so scared to have a child. To be pregnant. To be a parent. To have my life change so irretrievably. To take on that set of responsibility. It freaks me out. But I'm a newlywed and that's what we're supposed to be thinking about right? Except sometimes I just wish the whole thing, the whole conversation would just go away. Now Mariah is talking about it, and Alicia is talking about it, and everytime it feels like pressure is mounting in my throat.

Bo, well, he didn't want kids before. Now he wants three. Except he has said from the time we got engaged that he doesn't think he's ready to have kids now. I've watched him really grow and mature over the years we've been dating. I asked him a few months ago if he thought he was mentally ready and he said he thinks so. However I know the thought of having to financially care for the child, he doesn't think he's ready for that right now. I know the person I have and have written a few times about how he's so financially disciplined and aware. I know it's extremely important for him to be able to financially care for his family at the level he would want us to be, which is quite a high level. I know this is a stress factor for him. But I fear he's getting closer, faster than I would have imagined. This past month my monthlies were a bit late and I said to him "what if I'm pregnant?". Now we have this conversation almost every time I'm a little under the weather, even though like I mentioned I have some medical issues AND we use contraception. Usually Bolaji puts his hands on his head and goes "Ye!" He says it playfully but I know that's the first thing he would think even though I also know he'd absolutely kick into gear with support and planning. But this last time when I asked he did that eyebrow raising thing and smiled. He's NEVER done that before. I told him, I think you're getting closer, and he just smiled and didn't say anything. This freaks me out. We've always been on the same page about not wanting kids now, but I'm scared he's flipping the page faster than I am!

My journey is a bit more complicated. I want kids, then I don't want them, then I think to ever want them is crazy, then I want them again, then I want them like NOW, well, you get the point. I love children and I think they are a blessing but sometimes I just don't know if they belong in my life. Like EVER. The thought is scary. Then I reason, okay say I even want to have kids, and I think I do (see? complicated), what about all the things I want to do? It is very likely Bolaji and I will be living separately for about a year next year as I've been accepted into a very exclusive and competitive program. I am extremely excited about this and look forward to it immensely. It's not a career move per se as, it's just something I've always wanted to do. At the same time I've recently been promoted at my job here and I can easily stay on for a long while. Also, Bolaji and I are planning to take about three months off to travel at the end of next year and we're looking forward to that and we're buying into a timeshare/summer home in our favorite city after this. This is the kind of life we want to live, it's what we plan for ourselves and it's extremely important. We say we want to have kids but it's extremely important to us that we are able to share these things with our children. We want them to grow up in a certain type of home, with certain type of luxuries. Right now we just are not there yet.

I think part of my frustration is that the baby conversation is so looming over us right now, but no matter how either of us feels at any particular moment, we just have to hold on a little longer.

Why all this anxiety and baby yes, baby no? Bolaji's best friend confided in him yesterday that they were expecting. We always knew they wanted kids but it's hit me particularly hard. I love Bo's bestfriend and his wife and since they also got married this year, it's been really great having like partner friends who are going through the same phase of life as we are. But now they're having a child, it feels like it's hitting home. This marriage and children thing is really real. Bolaji and I joke around that our kids are probably going to date each other because we're so close, and also that it would be funny if say our kids actually marry each other, further solidifying the friendship. These were all jokes though I thought. Something for us to think about say in the next two years. But here they are, pregnant! Wow. I'm incredibly happy for them and can't wait to meet the little one, I'm sure he/she will be one of my favorite babies (I'm known for smothering the babies in my life!) When Bolaji told me, it was like there was a big elephant in the room as we both realized wow, this baby having thing is real. It's a bit unnerving.

For me also I'm one of the first to get married amongst my friends and even family peers and knowing how tough it was going through that phase in my life I'm really reluctant to be one of the first to be pregnant and to be a mother as well. I lost so many friends when I got married, I'm just not prepared to loose even more by going through the motherhood phase.

Can't time just stop for a little bit so we can adjust before it starts clicking again? Can't we all just go back to the playbox where we met every recess/lunch-break and felt confident that for the next few days, weeks, months, years we would meet at that same box and play with the same friends?

Baby-worrying/planning sucks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yum Baby!

Thursday, October 28, 2010
I've posted before that I enjoy cooking and I visit a lot of foodie blogs in my downtime. Bo and I have very similar tastes with food and pretty much the same principles, which has made our home quite harmonious in that regard. Most days I cook and almost everyday Bolaji does the dishes. So this evening I decided to make Jamaican curry goat and roti, completely from scratch. My husband loves when I make curry goat and I know this but we usually have it with rice but this time I felt like Caribbean roti which I used to love when I lived elsewhere.

Now for those that don't know, this dish can take quite a long time to cook (about 3 hours simmering). I came home early because I knew I wanted to make this for dinner and just as I was getting ready for my hubby to come home I get a text:

Honey, I've confirmed a meeting with Chika from So and So Company for 8pm tonight at Bungalows.

Oh my! I had forgotten that he said he was going to try and meet with an ex-colleague for drinks to discuss some transaction. I just simply asked if he was going to come home first which he said he was. So I had put having a nice quiet dinner out of my mind. Bolaji walks in the door and I could just tell he's so excited about the smells coming from the kitchen. He makes a bee-line for the kitchen and right away finishes off a couple of rotis! Then he runs out the door. I sit to a nice quiet solo dinner with a glass of wine, next thing I now my beau is knocking at the door again. Confused I checked the clock and it's just 9 o'clock. Now I'm really confused, usually Bo's business meetings take easily 2/3 hours, he's back after 1hr! Bo barely says hello before he makes a bee-line for the kitchen again. Lol. Then comes the sounds as he's eating, and he's like "babes, this is phenomenal!" "Gosh I love you so much" and other things just coming out of his mouth. I ask him so is this why you rushed back home? He responds that well he only had water at this meeting since he didn't want to mess up his appetite. Wow. So what they say is true it seems.

Since we moved in together I've never kept like a timetable for meals. I just cook what I feel like so it never really gets boring because even I don't know what we're gonna eat. I'm thinking maybe Bo rushed his meeting because whatever it was he was discussing he kept on remembering that I've got yummy food and yummy wife at home and I've gotta get back now. I'm impressed I must say. Curry goat more often I say!

********UPDATE***********

I can see everyone's interested in the magic curry goat and roti! Ha! I followed two online recipes and I will paste the links below. Word for the wise though, especially with the curry goat recipe, I don't follow the ingredient list to the T. I had a Jamaican flatmate once who did a lot of cooking so I generally have a good idea how to make the popular jamaican dishes, curry goat included. While this particular recipe is the closest and best I've found to how my friend made it, there's no way I'm making 5 pounds of goat! I just make sure I have the components on hand and measure by eye for our own requirements (cooking for two!). I also don't add lentils or carrots because I almost never have those in my pantry. You can if you want (though I would still skip the lentils...). I also add potatoes when I have about 45 minutes left of cooking. If you can't find sherry or marsala, use red wine, it's fine, u can add a little sugar to the red wine but I don't even bother. Lastly I simmer mine for about 3 hours so the meat really just melts in your mouth.

For the roti, I stick very closely to the recipe! Oh, except that I add the water gradually to the flour because sometimes you might not need all that the recipe called for. If you don't have self-rising flour, you can substitute with 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt!

Here are the links, enjoy!


Caribbean Roti 1 (I used this one)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love is NOT for Everyone - Part 2

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Thanks to everyone who left comments on the last post. I really enjoy reading them and connecting to the people behind the comments. It might be odd but I also really enjoy the diversity of viewpoints. It's probably what I enjoy the most that so many people who've never met each other but perhaps have a common interest (which landed them on this blog) discuss an issue and look at it from the prism of their perspective and life experiences. Awesome!

I'd like to loosely add a sort of rejoinder to the last post though.

I think what I was trying to convey is that love is not something for an exclusive club but is for everyone and accessible to anyone. I don't deserve it more or less than anyone else here. Also rationally, anyone who says "Love is not for everyone" is simply saying loud and clear, "I don't think love is for me." You may not think so but everyone around can hear it loud and clear. Surely if you don't think love is for you, it's even more difficult for anyone else to show you that it is.

One of the unpleasant things I learnt from the process of planning a wedding and a marriage is that the romance of that one single act seems to negate everything else about my experiences and who I am in almost everyone's mind. It's like we all still carry that Cinderella syndrome around: "maiden was wondering about the woods with seven crazy dwarfs when she was suddenly found by her Prince and they kissed and lived happily ever after". How can such a maiden know about life? She was wondering in the woods for crying out loud! If only this were true.

My first boyfriend is married to a stripper. Whatever conclusions to be drawn from this situation is probably true.

My second boyfriend 'broke up' with me (and I use that term loosely) when after traveling 10 hours by bus to pay him a surprise visit, a girl who I thought was a friend, opened the door. In my guy's shirt. I was then told to leave, except I had forgotten my wallet. 10 hours away. At home. Yes. It was 1 am and I had no where to go. I stayed in that house that night, in the living room while the man I had come to see stayed in his room with the other girl.

I dated someone who was already married. With kids. Without knowing this. They lived in another country.

I have not ALWAYS had love. I've listened to the Destiny's Child song "Free" while drinking some red wine and ordering everything of the menu of the local chinese restaurant with my best friend. I'm a woman. Yes I'm married, but I'M A WOMAN. Of course I've had all sorts of experiences with all sorts of mean-spirited, heartless men. Of course I've wondered when it would all stop.

This is all the more reason why, I firmly believe within all of my heart that love is not for a selective few but for everyone. Whether you've been heartbroken or not. Whether you're 22 or 92. One of my parent's neighbors is getting married. She's 82. She used to bake cookies every week for the neighborhood but now everyone's complaining because she hasn't baked for months! She doesn't have the time. Her husband's 89 and they're busy hanging out and enjoying each other's company.

Love is absolutely for everyone. And it's wonderful, and beautiful, and amazing, and indescribable. It doesn't come when you want it, or command it to come. It'll come when it's right for you. When God says, okay there you go. Go!

Another thing.

I'm in love with my husband but life doesn't end. That's a misconception. I'd like to correct that misconception. I don't stay at home naked all day with a bouquet of red roses in my hand, while constant deliveries of chocolates and more flowers arrive at our doorstep and we just....revel in love. Day in day out. Yes I'm blessed but now I have to get on with it. Live my life, build our lives, pay rent, save, pay my bills, service my car, dream of holidays we can't afford right now, plan for kids, write exams, work. Finding a mate is just the beginning. Now there's a life to live and it's not for kids.

But I digress.

Love? That's the easy, fun part. I'm more convinced than ever that God didn't create it for just a select few but for everyone. It may not have happened now, but it can. Absolutely.

NB:- I'm sorry for the rant!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love is NOT for Everyone

Monday, October 11, 2010
I read this statement somewhere recently and it really stuck. For me when I hear someone say "Love is just not for everyone," what I hear is:

"I've given up on love"
"I don't think anyone can possibly love me"
"I don't deserve the romance, attention, devotion that comes from love"
"I'm disappointed and bitter that no one has loved me in that love of ages way yet"
"If true love existed, I would have had someone by now"

And so on. All these phrases are absolutely negative and I think to myself, who in their right mind would even want to TRY being with someone who harboured all these negative thoughts and all this disillusionment. It is completely unattractive. Seriously, anyone thinking these thoughts should just....STOP. Apart from being unattractive it just reeks of desperation and attention seeking. Certainly it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If there was a fly on the wall who could report back about the goings on in our home, there would be many a eye-rolling. Bo and I are so completely in love and we affirm it and share it several times a day. Truly, we are that kind of couple. I am completely, fully, and absolutely crazy in love with my husband.

But get this, I didn't deserve it.

I still don't. I don't even think I did anything extraordinary for love to come into my life and to come in this splendid way. I am completely aware that I am blessed and we both know that a love like this is one written in the stars, one destined for ages. We don't deserve it. But we have it. And I believe God in his infinite mercy and grace, gave it to us. I know God loves us all unconditionally and He GAVE me love. My question is why wouldn't He give anybody else? Why wouldn't He give YOU?

If we come down to earth, the truth is anybody, male or female, is attracted to a confident, stable person who is fun to be around, fun to be with. That's it. No one wants to be with someone who's carrying bitterness, and hurt, and self-loathing around like a backpack. So shed it.

Love is for everyone and can happen for everyone. It's not something for a select special being. It's real and it's as wonderful as you can ever imagine, stop being afraid and be ready to welcome it whenever it shows itself in your life!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Enjoy This Moment

Sunday, September 26, 2010
I usually get moments of bursts of spiritual growth. When it happens I tend to be highly aware that I need to constantly pay attention and need to constantly seek God every moment. I'm not sure why this happens to me but it does. I've been experiencing this burst these last few weeks/months.

This particular spurt I think comes from my new sense of orientation, my new world as it may be. I'm after all now a wife. Perhaps soon to be a mother. Most importantly I'm the head of a new household of which I bear responsibility for. There's something in the Bible about a wise woman building up her home but a foolish one tearing it down. I'm aware of the weight of this. I'm trying to build my home, this is a magnificent task when one thinks about it. Finally I can set about the business of life with the love of my partner, this love which truly is the mirror for me to view myself (I of course agree with From Now Till I Do here). I read once a statement from Selwyn Hughes, whom I greatly admire, that marriage is the institution God put in place for us to finally begin to understand His love for us, to finally understand what it means to say "like Christ loved the Church". I get this now. I think it is from this new realization that this growth is spewing forth.

To shorten this post a little, I've been drawn to meditation lately. Not in the strange sense but after my daily exercise routine I just feel a great need to sit down, stretch, and just be still. There a saying in this book I'm reading that resonates with me. It says prayer is our time of communicating with God, talking to him, but meditation is a time to listen. I chose a relaxation method then I'm just quiet...and still. I used to meditate a lot in college but I stopped years ago. The first time I pick it up again a few weeks ago, I sit and just sing my Anglican hymns I can remember in my head. And then I start praying, you know the normal prayers - thanksgiving, acknowledgment and repentence, asking asking asking, prayer for friends & family, thanksgiving, end. I think to myself instead of asking asking asking, I should give too. Give to my Church, give to my neighbours, to strangers, to everyone, just give of myself, of my resources, of my time. I'm going to start adding, God grant me the grace to give of myself freely.

My post today though is that we're always worrying about tomorrow, or about the past. To relate this to Bo & I and our relationship, or our journey, we're always thinking do we have enough to meet our desires to travel, to have children soon, to live comfortably? Or perhaps looking in the past - maybe we should have done things differently, etc. But part of being still, is enjoying the moment, the NOW. Wherever we are in life, we should enjoy it, experience it FULLY. I think as newlyweds, this is very difficult as I think part of our job description is to worry and get caught up in planning for our families, our futures. This I understand, but perhaps for now, for right NOW, we are exactly where God wants us to be, doing what exactly He has prepared for us at this moment. And this is okay. Smell the roses. Yes, there are thorns by the side, but LOOK, you got ROSES sister!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All On Our Own

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Our cleaner quit. Not in that respectful, thanks for everything but I'm ready to move on kind of way but in a I'll just not show up and that will tell them I'm not showing up ever again way. Which is awful. Bo and I have always had a cleaner. This guy. He comes in once a week and does a phenomenal and thorough, almost clinical job of cleaning our apartment. He took a break once and we hired a replacement in the meantime and she was horrible. I had dried water droplets on pretty much everything. Our cleaner (I'll call him Oye) came back and all was well with the world. I helped him develop his business ideas and Bo gave him free financial advice. And now he has quit. Without telling us.



I hate domestic staff, i.e maids, maiguards, stewards, drivers, all. Luckily Bo and I agree very much on this so as long as we can't absolutely live our lives without staff, we won't have them. It really isn't about child labour (which is quite frankly a good thing to keep in mind) or any activist reason but I like my personal space and I don't like strange people in it with all the faux bowing madam/servant dynamics. It's just not for me. Also I've decided that I actually don't like or enjoy training any illiterate person. Nothing against them personally but it's just not for me. So we have what's almost a no domestics vow in our household. The only aspect on which we give on this is the cleaner. But the caveat is/was no live-in person, and a very professional service which we got with Oye.

I know many Nigerian ladies equate getting married with being the big madam and you can't be a madam without someone "madame-ing" you. I have a friend who hired a second driver and a maid the second she got engaged (I'm exaggerating on the time but not by much). Yet another who has 2 drivers, a gateman, 2 maids and a nanny living with her and she just got married in March! They have no kids yet and the nanny is in anticipation of her getting pregnant this year. It seems such an odd thing that we as a society so readily accept strangers into our homes, even still when we all have heard all sorts of stories about such strangers. I had a friend who's gateman ran away with all her jewelry and stories are abound. I think to myself of course, they are strangers! They don't know you and you don't really know them. I'll just never understand it. When I have kids, I'm going to try and raise them on my own but of course I know absolutely nothing about that phase of life so who knows, maybe I'll change my mind. I'm determined not to though.

Since Oye left, my babe and I have tried to take on cleaning our apartment as a task. Last week I swept the whole house myself with our local broom and my backsides hurt for days! And Bo is just a Godsend of a husband. He most absolutely holds his own share of the domestic tasks. He probably even does more than me (and always has even with the cleaner). I'm so amazed at him and while I say thank you to him with kisses as he works around the house, I try not to let it show how overly excited I am that my husband is not one of those that leaves their clothes or shoes lying about. So we were kind of cute last weekend dividing up the house tasks. We're so determined to make it work. So he sweeps (he says he prefers sweeping to mopping), he sweeps and I mop. He does our toilet and bath I do the guest toilet and bath, I clean the mirrors in the living room, he cleans the mirrors in the bedroom. He also does dishes every night after I cook, and almost always does the laundry. We're like a little team BoKem! I love my man so much. To me he seems like more man than any other man I know if that makes sense. I think it takes a bigger man to do all those things. It takes a bigger man to step up to the plate with his woman and be her true partner in everything.

Even though we're definitely in the market for a new cleaner, I'm looking forward to us doing this together and figuring out a way to maintain the cleanliness of our home at a standard we want. We're fully on our own, which in Nigeria as a newly married couple, I think is somewhat of a feat.

Ok on a lighter note, my dorky (read I think he's cute lol) hubby just came into the room and said want to hear an investment banking joke?

So imagine you've been working late, you're extremely tired, you barely drag your feet to the station to take the last bus which is full and crowdy. Everyone's quiet and you start to doze off because you're so tired. An older woman walks into the bus and tries to make eye contact with someone who would offer her a seat on the bus, what do you do?

A: Nothing. You're an investment banker, you wouldn't be on a bus!

HA!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marriage = Happiness & Peace

Saturday, September 11, 2010
My hubby is in the study doing a bit of work and I'm in our living room surfing the web, it's quiet outside and in except for the sound of the dryer lulling on and off. I'm happy. I feel at peace with this my home.

Yesterday I had the privilege of having dinner with two of my close girlfriends and by December 2010 all three of us would be married and one would be very close to giving birth to her first child! It was a great dinner and we spent the time chatting about our lives, our loves, our homes, and really some of our hopes for the future. At a table next to us sat four women, perhaps in their late 30s with a few kids at the table, also chatting very vividly with laughs and hugs interspersed, like a later version of our own group. I'm happy. I felt at peace with my experiences this year.

A few days ago, Bo & I went to see the movie Grown Ups with Adam Sandler and some other funny men and while the movie was largely goofy and funny, there was a scene just towards the end when one of the characters says "You know the first half of your life is exciting, it's when you try all the new things, and do all the running around, but the second half...well that's well the magic REALLY happens, that's when you get depth to your life." I looked around the theatre for a moment because it was like whoever wrote that script was stealing from my thoughts. I've always said to Bo that I felt that with my weddings and my marriage I have finally left the first phase of my life and now moving comfortably into the next. Marriage and starting a family comes with it's own completely new set of realities and worries and concerns and joys. So different. I hugged Bo a little tighter in the theatre that night, snuggle in close and I'm happy. I felt at peace with this new phase of my life.

Recently I was discussing with a whole bunch of ladies, some who were just about to get married, some who had already celebrated anniversaries, and some of us who were still green and new. There was a pregnant woman amongst us and she says so when are you and Bo planning to have your first? I look at her and say "I don't know, just not anytime soon" She was taken aback. Another young lady who was getting married in October says , "Oh I know we're like that too we want to wait about six months before trying" and I said well, that sounds great but I think we'll probably wait for a few more years. She says, "Years???". I shrug and answer in the affirmative. The conversation then moves into preparing a woman's body for pregnancy and everyone calmly or kindly shoves me to the corner. Instead of feeling well, shoved aside, I felt free. I felt wonderfully clear-minded. I was happy. I felt at peace with my hubby and I's plan and vision for our family.

If I've learnt anything this year it's to stay true to oneself. There's so much societal noise, and Nigeria certainly a place where there's no qualms about societal pressure to conform, but it is important as ladies for us to find our inner true selves, our own voices, and follow that path and that path alone. If you don't want a large carnival wedding, don't have one REGARDLESS. If you don't feel like you are absolutely ready to push another human being through your female parts and nurse it, then don't do it yet. If you don't feel absolutely overjoyed and excited at the thought of waking up at 90, looking across at your husband, and thanking God that the man next to you is a witness to this crazy journey of life, then don't get married. If you can't find any logical reasoning as to why your name should change simply because you declared your love for another human being, then don't change it. If you don't feel like living in a big house in Lekki with a maid, a cleaner, two drivers, a maiguard, and a load of other strangers that bow to you and call you Madam when you're only 25 then don't.

Those who matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter.

At almost six months in, Bo & I and our relationship is no longer about whether we love the other person or whether Bo will propose or not, or whether he'll call or not. I know he loves me, he knows I love him. Dearly. Now the relationship is about building a life. A task that brings me indescribable and immense joy and pleasure. I firmly believe that this is because we are committed to defining ourselves and ourselves within our marriage on our OWN terms.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hmmpf...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I'm so upset right now.

Just got back from date night and the mister and I just had a mini pow wow. Half way through date night Bo looks at his watch and says "we have to get outta here soon I have some work to do."

I'm upset because date night is date NIGHT. Not date 2 hours, but date NIGHT. I don't care if the Martians have invaded earth and their spaceship has landed at your office, it's date frigging NIGHT. I go a little off and we leave and as soon as we get into the house I hug him close and give him a kiss and say I'm not trying to pressure him but I need him to take this stuff seriously, like hernia/heartattack serious. He says well, he does feel pressured and perhaps he'd just have been better canceling date night today. I go off. again. Then I get frustrated. Now I'm in bed with the lights off blogging about how frustrated I am.

Hmmpf. Deep breath.

You see, marriage is this thing that you create out of your own two hands, out of nothing, out of the air! Forget all that love stuff, that's just the beginning. But marriage? You have to keep working at it and creating and building and molding. I want so very much to say "well fine then, how about NO date night? I too have things to do with my time..." but rather than that I have to work through this stuff so we can come out stronger on the other side.

*****UPDATE******

I'm so happy that my blog friends are smart intelligent women (or men who knows!). I'm completely fine now, it was just one of those normal marriage things but I want to share both ups and downs. Also it's quite therapeutic to blog. I tried commenting this morning but blogger was acting up, I see I have a few more comments now so I'll go back to read.

Well, never go to sleep upset is what they say so I put my "anger" aside and just made sure I had a great night's rest. This morning we discussed a bit more and Bo says he understands better now where I'm coming from. Our communication process is so weird I think. It usually goes like this, I (or he) voice my feelings, I ask how he feels about what I've said, he responses and asks if I understand what he has said, I repeat what I've said and what he's said. And then I ask if he has anything he wants to say, am I being fair? He responds. Then kiss and make up, lol. Then I ask what he's thinking even though I know he needs sometime to process the conversation, he says nothing just letting everything sink in. I leave it then a couple of days later he'll randomly come to me and say you know, that thing we were talking about I think XYZ. Whew.

I'm okay. The date night journey continues! I bet you some day our kids are going to roll their eyes about date night and not know it was turbulent in the start lol!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Then Comes Kemi In A Baby Carriage?

Friday, August 6, 2010

So inevitably the topic comes up.

Bolaji and I have a funny history when it comes to babies. When we first started dating, Bolaji did NOT see himself as being married at all and definitely did not see himself having kids. In fact he actually told me that he rather saw himself living a quiet life with his girlfriend, traveling and experiencing life, just the two of them forever. Most girls would have run but I was a bit strange too. While I always thought I would indeed get married, it was all something that "other people" do and not me. For as long as I can remember too I've told all my closest friends that I wasn't too sure of the baby thing and I would really consider trying surrogacy. This was before surrogacy was even cool, or in any case as acceptable as it is now. One of my college friends even stopped speaking to me for so long after I mentioned that I thought all pregnant women should have a home (Sorry to my pregnant blog friends, trust me, BELIEVE me at this point in my life I realize how....silly that statement was/is). So when my boyfriend tells me that he doesn't really see himself having kids, it wasn't a deal breaker for me.

As we started to plan our lives together though things started to change little by little. Of course we started to discuss if we REALLY wanted to have kids and how many we’d like. Imagine my shock when my darling fiancĂ© (at the time) says he wants 3 children! I said I wanted 2 and I still do and I feel very strongly about that but what a jump for Mr. I-Don’t-See-Myself-Having-Kids. Maybe it was always all or nothing for him. We also talked about when in our marriage we’d like to start having children. We both agreed that we’d like to wait for a bit. In fact we even decided on a particular year and locked the conversation away. Done. Right?

Well not so fast. To be honest I’m not quite sure who changed first. If you will recall I’m thinking of going back to grad school to do yet another degree. I think that’s where the turnaround started. Do I become pregnant before, during, or after this program? What was the best choice? Instinctively it sounds better after grad school but at that time I will either be looking for a job or just starting a new job in a new field so that can’t be a good time for kids. But then you throw in age into the equation and things get even more complicated. If I wait until after grad school and a few years of employment I would be well in my mid-thirties and with my reproductive issue, would we just be creating headaches for ourselves in the future? I even started to read about pregnant grads (and believe me there’s a lot on this topic if you google). Somewhere in between all this thinking I started to think well perhaps… now? Then I’d get scared about the whole prospect and think, nah. I can see Bolaji is going through the same thing too. We currently use contraceptive methods and randomly he says to me, “why don’t we stop?” I remind him that he doesn’t want kids right now and he just snaps out of it. Lol. Now we went to a cousin’s naming ceremony this past weekend and it was so cute to see Bolaji. He was afraid to carry the baby and I had to basically force her into his arms and then all he could say literally for 10 mins was “Wow”, “Wow.” He was blown away by life. And then my cousin and his wife told us the entire birth story (they’re first time parents) and we laughed and joked and had a good time but I think for both of us, it just made it more real. Like, oh my gosh are we going to have to go through this too? My cousin and his wife earn less than we do as an income and they seem fine so perhaps financial stability is not that prohibitive? Or we start thinking maybe you are never too ready anyway.

On the other hand I think of one of my favorite blogs From Marriage to Motherhood, and they seem like they are so well planned out. They seem to have planned having a baby and just seem better, calmer, and well-adjusted to the new addition. I think Bolaji and I just really want our family to be planned, to be able to provide for our kids at the level we want, we want to be ready financially and emotionally. Sometimes I feel I really really want one now, other times I think I don't even mind if we never have any (God forbid we be infertile which is different from simply deciding not to have). Either way for now, we wait.



One of our favorite movies that deals with the cycle, sacrifices, and joys of family life is Marley and Me. Bolaji and I watch that move over and over again. It chronicles the life of a couple as boyfriend/girlfriend to affianced, to newlywed, to parents, all while touching on the different issues, joys, and challenges that could go on at each stage. I think we also try and learn from it too. Planning is important and can avoid a lot of stressors but one just has to keep in mind that things will never be perfect too.

This story continues.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Everlasting Honeymoon

Thursday, July 22, 2010
Many times I open up the New Post tab and all I want to do is write this:

Gosh, I love my hubby. He's the best. I'm so happy. How can anyone be this happy, should I pinch myself? Gosh this is so cool guys. I feel like I'm falling in love everyday, freshly. How did I get this lucky? Happy, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Love, Love, Love....


Then I smack myself across the face. Of course no one wants to read that, it's nauseating. How is that news? Then I think about something that's happened recently that's worth sharing because there's a story or a lesson behind it, there's a use to it. But today is a day that my heart is so full, and I'm so much in love, and feeling REALLY blessed.

I just got home from a friend's wedding (day off from work, YES!). I never used to like weddings at all before I got engaged, I could care less for them. Before getting engaged I had probably been to 3 weddings in my entire life. Then of course by the time I got engaged, wedding season amongst our friends and family was in full effect, and everyone knows if you want anyone to come to yours, you've gotta go to theirs so we went to quite a few. We started to enjoy them a bit more but we still wouldn't willingly give up our saturdays for it, you know. THEN we got married and i've already posted a bit about how the first few weddings I went to were tough for me because I couldn't help but compare myself and my wedding to the bride and her wedding. I'm happy to report that I am firmly over that phase now.

But this traditional wedding we went to today was very special. The bride is a friend of mine for a few years now and the groom funny enough is one of Bolaji's closest friends. Soon after we got engaged, naturally, all eyes just turned to Nkem because they were just that close. Of course, the ring came soon after and we were all so excited and we've been waiting for this date for a long time. Nkem and Sheila are such a nice and sweet couple. I was so happy to be participating in Sheila's wedding and since she's the first close friend of mine to get married after me, it was like I was experiencing the whole process anew. It took me back to my day and just the romance of knowing you are tied to your hubby in the eyes of all your family and relatives. I started to think of how marrying Bolaji was the best thing that has EVER happened to me and got really teary eyed at my friend Sheila also experiencing this same special happiness and joy of being a WIFE.

I have to say also seeing my hubby in his white lace, VERY GQ'd out, I was so happy, like that man is MY HUBBY! There's something about a nice Nigerian man, in a crisp white lace, with cufflinks, shades, and smelling SO good. I kept on saying to Bolaji, oh my you look so hot, if I weren't married to you I'd be checking you out at this party. He just smiled.

Man, people have been asking me so how's married life. It's so wonderful filled with shared moments and experiences like this, with friends and family, it's even more amazing than anyone could say.

So right now, I'm gonna stop writing. I'm going to go take a fresh shower, put on my nice dress that drives Bolaji crazy, put on my make up, my flirty earrings, bring out that bottle of champagne, that box of chocolates, and well...enjoy being married!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is This How Divorces Are Made?

Monday, July 19, 2010
So we have a friend who while otherwise being a perfectly good person, ALWAYS has something negative to say about marriage. Bolaji has known this person, let's call him TJ for a quite some time, they went to King's College together, then met up again abroad in university. I on the other hand know TJ as one of my cousin's ex-boyfriend. So we know him quite well and I can attest to the fact that he really is a good person. However since knowing him as a couple, i.e Bolaji and I, he's just always had something to say.

When we first got engaged he'd make comments like "oh no, it all goes downhill from here". Or he'll say kiss goodbye to the woman and relationship you have now because it's all going to disappear, or if we're holding hands (which we always do), he'd say "don't worry this is going to stop abruptly soon". He asks Bolaji, "does she allow you to listen to your own music now? don't worry that will change and you'll never be allowed to any longer". The woman you're dating now is not going to be your wife and all kinds of scary crazy things. The thing is TJ is married! He has been married for the past 3 years and has two beautiful daughters to show. At first his offhand comments used to slide behind my back but I started to get really ticked off! All of his qualms about marriage where about the woman and I really didn't appreciate him saying things to an almost married man (at the time) that could scare him or give him jitters. I discussed it with Bolaji and he was like you know what? He's just jealous about our happiness and doesn't know how to show it, the best way to deal with him is also make a quip about how happy WE are and roll with the punches that way.

I say all of this to set the scene. A few weeks ago, at a friend's party TJ goes "so when was the last time you guys argued?" and he said it in this really smirky way as if he really wanted to prove himself right about how terrible marriage is. Bolaji and I looked at each other and replied..."you know what? I can't even remember!" But we also made a show of it and feigned like we were trying to remember and couldn't. Shame. You could tell he was disappointed that he couldn't be proven right at that time. I was so happy because truly at the time he asked we hadn't even had a misunderstanding/disagreement in a long stretch so I REALLY couldn't remember!

Cut to last week. One of the thorns of our relationship is that I LOVE giving and receiving gifts and my love could care less really! lol. He's one of those people that doesn't celebrate birthdays or any other type of anniversary, meanwhile I'm the kind of person that you could come in to the house and find a 100 balloons and a special cake to surprise you on the little things. So we are quite different that way. We celebrated our 3rd month anniversary last week and I also finally did my name change so of course I was in the mood for a little celebration. Bolaji was very blase about it. That evening not only does he come home later than usual, he then says he would really love to go to a going-away dinner for one of our friends who was leaving Nigeria for good (he had forgotten about the surprise dessert tasting I had arranged for us!). I was very upset and felt that he wasn't considering how important it was to me to celebrate milestones in my life. This little thing turned into a big full blown disagreement (we are not yellers so it's hard to say fight lol). I ended up listening to Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me" to sleep which in my head is the highest scale of marital unhappiness i guess lol. The next day we got up and it was another round of trying to listen and understand and explain to each other. I was exhausted. Just as we were beginning to patch things up, something completely different happened again that day to cause even more tension and friction.

During this time I was thinking those thougths that all I think all newlyweds will think at some point during their first year: Aaargh, I'm so mad at him, gosh what have I gotten myself into? I thought many different things. In that moment of feeling unloved, unheard, and just plain feeling that this marriage thing can indeed be tough, I thought of the carefree single days. I thought what if this man can't change and I can't change, could we be happy?

That evening Bolaji headed to one of his best friend's bach eve. Not even an hour in, he sends me a message:

Gosh, where do all these women come from? I'm sitting here, looking around, and I've never felt even more confident that I picked the right person, that I'm truly content and truly happy. I'm good, I don't need nor want anything else. I love you very much. Very very much and don't ever doubt this.


About thirty minutes later he sends me another message:

Okay I'm officially sad now, all these men grinding on all this women and gyptian ft. nikki is on and I'm by myself wishing my babes was here. I'm leaving here soon, once Nkem comes out of the room they've locked him in. (Bolaji really REALLY likes that Gyptian song!)

I tell him I'm trying on the dresses I just got back from the tailor and he asks me to please send pictures so he can see them on me. He comes home a little after that and I'm not sure what it was but it's like he just realized that whatever we were arguing about did not matter in the grand scheme of things. He grabs me and holds me so tight. I get a little perspective too. Here is my man. The man that goes to a bach eve and rushes home because he misses his wife. The man that isn't afraid to share his feelings with me. A man that loves me so very much, that he tells me almost every week that he dedicates his life to making sure I'm happy and cared for. A man who wakes me up to kisses all over my face.

A lot of marital activities went on these last few days ;-)

All kidding aside, I wanted to post about this incident because it was my first real challenge and realization that yes, marriage is going to have it's rough bits. I also gained a new consciousness that it is the journey that we are going for, the ups and downs of it all is exactly what we've signed up for. I thought to myself, how many of young couples out there go through their rough patches and instead of choosing to grow from it, choose to grow apart from it. And yes, it is a choice: Am I going to learn from this or am I going to withdraw just a little bit from this relationship because of it? Be wary of the withdrawal and teach the TJs in your life a thing or two!

We also talked about having kids this past week but that's the next post :-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Honeymoon Post

Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I took some photos on my honeymoon specifically with this blog in mind but I've had said pictures in my computer for the longest time and just didn't get up to posting them. Now that I have a bit more free time on my hands I thought I'd share.

We only had a very short mini-moon and the hubs and I headed down to a beautiful home owned by one of our friends and stayed there for a few days. You will recall that I hightailed it out of here very quickly as we experienced some hurricane weather while there but the pictures do look lovely and I've enjoyed reminiscing about the bliss of those first days of marriage.

The view from the sliding door of our bedroom.


Taken right on our bed!


I took this pic sitting on the toilet seat ha!


Closest neighbor is quite far.


Our honeymoon suite (house) as we head off to our Day at the Spa!


Still taking pics as hubby drives :-)


The surrounding community. Look closely and you'll see about 2 or 3 houses.


Getting ready to hit the jacuzzi...yay!


I had to sit here to wait for the hubs. For some reason I got changed and out much quicker than he did. I couldn't wait to start off the different therapies.


A view of the Spa Resort as we were heading out. I was so sad to go.


That evening when we got back we lit a fire:


and watched the sun set. Bliss!


The next morning we woke up to a beautiful day....but had to head back into town to pack and come back to Lagos.


It was an absolutely gorgeous day!



The end. :-) There's my honeymoon photo album. I tried to record some video but Bolaji jumped into the clip and that was that. Our honeymoon is special to us for obvious and perhaps not so obvious reasons. We will forever cherish our few days secluded at the tip of the earth!











Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MasterChef At Large

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I love cooking. Some people believe there are two kinds of people: cooking types and baking types. I am proud to say that I'm a bit of both. I love to cook and I absolutely love to bake. I've essentially live alone since the age of 17 up until the day I moved in with Bolaji. During the time I lived alone I was the child that tried baking and cooking everything from apple pies to chocolate cakes and everything in-between. Then I went off to college and though I cooked occasionally, I was missing a key ingredient: an audience. Cooking is definitely a labor of love and is not that much fun when you do it alone. Besides most cooks know that sometimes you just don't feel like eating after slaving away at the stove. Long story short, even after moving to Nigeria, Nando's and Sweet Sensation were my best friends. I would have occasional dinners where I would go all out but those where once in a blue moon. I had even garnered the reputation around my friends (and boyfriends!) that Kemi doesn't cook. I just smiled and said nothing. I heard a quote once that all women cook or know how to cook, if you are a man and they haven't cooked for you, they just are not that into you! :-)

I love my hubby for not EVER pressuring me about food. He, of course, also assumed I didn't know how to cook, but I can honestly say he just figured somehow we would eat and as long as he was dining with me, it didn't matter who cooked the food. This is a sweet thought, yes, but he didn't know how to cook either so I'm not sure what he had figured! LOL. Imagine his surprise when we moved in together and he would come home to hot cooked meals. We both don't eat too much Nigerian food so he would come home to tasty Italian, Indian, Mediterranean/Lebanese dishes. One of my first dishes was this:

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Chickpeas


I love Caribbean food and in Lagos there aren't many places for you to try Jerk Chicken or Curry Goat so I make it.



Of course the pictures above are not mine. I always say I'll take pictures of the things I cook but when I'm in the kitchen I'm moving so fast and it's a bit out of the way to have to grab the camera and take pictures while my onions are caramelizing! But I did manage to take a few photos on my phone:

Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread


Homemade Gnocchi & Lamb Marinara sauce


Bolaji has told me of how he and his ex-girlfriend shared a lot of moments together in the kitchen. She apparently also loved to cook and they spent many times together laughing and trying so many recipes. He talks about those times like those were part of the good times of a past relationship. The other night as I made the gnocchi, he was also in the kitchen with me. I had never tried making it before so I was very skeptical about the whole thing but as I put the gnocchi balls in the hot water and it floated, Bolaji opens up and says, well, don't know if I ever told you this before but Sandy (his ex) tried to make gnocchi and it was such a disaster, the thing didn't float. So I tease him that all the while he was probably just waiting for my gnocchi to float before he would know for sure that we were having dinner that night! He smiles and goes off to the laundry room to iron his shirt. When dinner was ready I went in to call him and he grabs me and says you know what? "When my last relationship ended I prayed to God that the next person he brings into my life must be better than this one that's ending and I look at you and think of us and God gave me even more than I could ever wish for". Isn't that sweet?

I mentioned to Bo once though that I've read many places that this is how the honeymoon period is in a marriage so if say in five years I'm only cooking okro and beans or something, please he should be prepared for it oh. Lol. He says well he'd like his kids to also enjoy delicious home cooking, this is when I turn and snicker to him. Perhaps he should learn how to cook then! To be fair though, he asked me a few months ago if I wanted a cook since I'm so busy sometimes it's really difficult to come home from work then have to start thinking of what to cook etc. While I know there are many Lagos girls who would die for a cook, I just don't like having domestic staff period. I hate people in my space and for the life of me I can't wrap my head around letting complete strangers into the sanctity of my home. It seems so crazy that people readily do that here. For now I've said no to the cook but who knows, maybe I'll change my mind soon. For now, it's me practicing for my appearance on masterchef! :-)

Some of my favorite foodie blogs here:


As you can tell, I can probably go on forever. I love food blogs! For me the process usually is I look at the ingredients I have in my pantry or fridge, or if I'm craving something specifically, then I google the items or what I'm craving, click images, then pick the ones that seem to be on foodie blogs since they tend to give you step by step pictures along with the recipes. And then another tip for those who love cooking but also live in Lagos where we can't just waltz in a grocery store and find everything we want, stock up on spices little by little, then when shopping look for little treasures everywhere. I found eggplant at shoprite for N70! So just keep your eyes peeled. Anyway, I'll let you know when my masterchef appearance will be ;-) (j/k).


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Break in Transmission

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From time to time I get periods that I'm so busy I have to schedule even my teethbrushing in the morning! This is one of those time periods. When I'm going through this I usually leave a cute pic and a short message so here we are. Cute Pic. Check. Short Message. Check.

To my new followers, welcome! I'm usually more interesting than this but work is my second husband for now and he needs tending to! I'll be back.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Wedding Envy & Kemi Gets Her Groove Back!

Friday, June 4, 2010
I couldn't decide between the two titles so I've just included both in. They are kind of related. This post will probably be a little disjointed.

Happy June Month! June is a great month, not only because it's the middle of the year, it's the real beginning of summer, or that i have many loved ones with birthdays in June, but the most important reason of all: I got engaged June 20, 2009! It's almost been a year since the whirlwind of my life started. I still tell Bo that that day was the best day of my life. Everything about it was beautiful. I loved the wedding day and my traditional day but nothing beats the romance and happiness of the day you get engaged. Actually in order of happiness? I would say Engagement Day, Traditional Wedding, then White Wedding. It seems weird to me because that's not what I would have expected but that's the order. I remember worrying myself silly as to whether Bolaji was going to buy me a ring, then funny enough being caught completely unawares when it actually happened. I remember like yesterday he telling me he wanted to share his life journey with me and then getting down on one knee. The feeling if I could describe it is being swept off my feet. I was so happy. The whole entire day I was lightheaded and dizzy and quite frankly could not believe it was happening to me. Absolutely happiest day of my life. My trad was quite simply magical and I will forever cherish it. Like seriously, m-a-g-i-c-a-l. My white wedding, I stressed about so many things and there were so many aspects of it that honestly, I could only enjoy it through the pictures after the event. Not necessarily stressed in a bad way but I tend to go into project management mode, so I essentially project managed my wedding and didn't really experience it and appreciate it until even now. So in short (HA!) here's to June 20, 2009 - what a difference a 24-hour day could make!

Now unto wedding envy, if any of my ladies here have been married and experienced wedding envy please do share your story. I'm learning a lesson about weddings that I would like to share. Essentially, it's that you will never have everything you wanted at your wedding, never. Some things will be off, some things will go wrong, (as I've talked about many times) some friends and family will disappoint, and you just might forget to decorate your cake table (lol), or your groom may be 1 1/2 hours late and therefore you loose your light for pictures (only brides truly understand the gravity of this lol). It is important to cleanse these things out of your soul (yes soul, it goes that deep) and let it go. The first wedding I went to after we got back from our mini-honeymoon, I was a wreck. Bolaji even had to almost shake me, like, Kemi, trust me, our wedding was FABULOUS. I was busy comparing everything I saw to what happened at mine and I got really sad and down. It was so bad, I became withdrawn and wanted to leave soon after we got there. And then I started comparing every wedding dress I saw to my own. It was just madness. Bolaji had to have a talk with me. He basically told me I was being ungrateful because I prayed so hard for my wedding and all the preparations around it and it went beautifully, the pictures are gorgeous, and it was intimate and purposeful like we had wanted and prayed for. Most of all, it was over! Lol. It might not have been your average perfect wedding, but no wedding ever is, it was YOUR wedding and love it dammit! Those were kind of his words but paraphrased. :-) I listened to him. As time goes by and things return to normal, I'm getting my objectivity and perspective back and truly all I can be is thankful. I'm happy and at peace with the way everything went. Now when I see or go to a wedding I just say another prayer, "thank God i'm a wedding graduate!"

Speaking of things returning to normal, boy I cannot say enough how happy I am that my world is returning back to normal post wedding planning. Truth be told I hated planning my wedding. Almost every aspect of it (except visiting my florist at her shop at the apex of a mountain surrounded by vineyards, oh and menu tasting with my sis-in-law). Your world gets subsumed into this planning machine and before you know it you don't even have time (or money quite frankly) to do the things you did before. Bolaji and I are pretty artsy folks, so we went to a lot of events in the Lagos indie art scene, there is one i assure you. But that's what we did, ate out at lovely restaurants, partied with friends at different night spots, and hang out with our expat friends. During planning though, we almost did none of these. We didn't have time, any down time you just wanted to sleep and not think. I'm very glad to say that we are slowly getting back into the groove of things. We are slowly getting back to the stage where the fact that we were getting married or are married is no longer the most interesting thing about us. It's lovely! This is spilling into all aspects of our lives. I have a confession. I mentioned that we didn't consummate our marriage on our wedding night. This is true. But we didn't consummate our marriage till about 3 days in. The only thing I can attribute this to is that we were just used to not having sex it wasn't that big of a deal and all of our guests were still around and we were still very busy. On the honeymoon, not much of action was going on there either, quite frankly I was busy being scared for my life (you try experiencing a hurricane while you're in a glass house in the middle of the ocean!). Interestingly though, is that what I've realized is that the more I unwound myself from wedding stress, the better our sex life has gotten. I'm being honest here. The first few weeks weren't like jumping off the chandeliers. But now....lol. I'll keep that to myself. :-) On a serious note though I wanted to mention that specifically because I have a sneaky feeling this is a lot more normal than one would think. I think it takes a while for you to unwind and de-stress yourself so if anyone out there experienced what I experienced, don't beat yourself up about it, sometime it happens like that.

Anyway so here we are, the year in review from June 20, 2009 to June 4, 2010. So much growth, so much learning, so much...experience. I'm in a good place, I'm getting back to the old me, and I'm glad!
 
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