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!


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!
Till My Dying Day © 2008. Design by Pocket