Thursday, November 29, 2012

Holidays 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Bo & I love holidays.

We have quite different holiday "cultures" shall we say, but one thing is for certain, we do love to travel to new places.  Bo is much more of a play it safe person and I'm more of a let's go all out person.  Where we both come together is that we both appreciate luxury and fine things.  Though Bo likes to play it safe his tastes are probably more lavish than mine and if not for his eyes always being on the bank account, he would definitely plan more luxurious getaways than I would.  As it now, we generally decided were we want to go together, I end up planning the type of trip - what we do and how lush we get - we argue and stress out about the budget, then we usually end up somewhere in the middle and have a fantastic holiday!

This year we went to several places in Europe this was one of the places on the itinerary:

I can't really remember where else we went during this year and I'm hoping we went on vacation earlier too or that would be depressing :-)  Either way, I love our vacations and cherish them as it's one of the only times Bo & I give each other our undivided attention, for days on end.  What a luxury!  

I'm already thinking about vacations we could take for next year, hopefully we can get our financials in order to be able to take a few of these.  We may take a few little ones, dotted around Africa, or we may just go to a perhaps two major ones.  All God willing of course.  I pray things are even bigger and better than I can imagine.  So where do I want to go?

First up we have this beautiful's in Africa somewhere *wink

And this place, which is also in Africa but a different country:

That last picture is so gorgeous.  I want to go there so badly.  I wish someone would have the foresight to build something like that here in Nigeria, but even then, it would probably take much more effort to get there than to go to this country.  Still it's on my list.  

So is here....somewhere in Europe:

I'm sort of surprised that all my dream vacation spots are by the water or close to the water.  I guess you can take the coastal girl from the coast but you can't take coast of out the girl....wait, does that make sense? Lol.  I've never lived in a landlocked city and I guess that shows.  

Anyone dreaming of any fabulous vacation spots?  Do share!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Go Go Go!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A little overwhelmed these days.  It's somewhat tough juggling the many hats I put on of wife, sister, cousin, daughter, friend, professional.  All of a sudden it seems like something from every one of those hats needs my attention and needs it urgently, anyone else feel that way at this stage of their life?  This is a very funny stage.  I almost wish I could go back to my days in uni even though as I type this right now I couldn't really tell you what those days consisted of - what DID I do with my time?

Bo and I have been going through a challenging time lately.  He's so busy right now working on a project and comes home at about 10pm and I'm so busy at work I don't even walk into my home until at least 9pm.  We spend what I call tired minutes together - plop down in front of the tv, have some dinner, pretend we're going to spend quality time in front of the tv, fall asleep on the couch in about 5 minutes flat!  It would actually be quite funny if it well...if it wasn't!  In between my little cousin would call to gist about her boyfriend issues, my mother-in-law would require me to send some recipe, I make sure the cook has made something appropriate for dinner, I make sure the cleaner has her cheque, I get to the gym to workout, it's really exhausting!  Most worrying of all though, of course, is trying to find the time to have quality time with my hubby.  It's quite frustrating.  In the beginning of our marriage I told Bo that my biggest fear is that people drift apart in marriage because of how easy it is to just start living separate lives, where a couple spends 95% of their time outside of each other.  To me the easiest path to that for us is work.  It got so worrying for me last week friday, that I just had to leave everything to God, saying my golden prayer about God teaching us how to best love each other, to keep each other fulfilled.  Sometimes things in life get in the way and one can only cling to the third person in the relationship, i.e God, to hold the reins until something eases up.

The good news though is that we both love our jobs, love what we do, and feel so fulfilled doing it.  I'm really proud that we go against the grain in many aspects.  I'm also really at peace in my heart that apart from being spouses to each other, and lovers, we are such great friends.  Glad about this because at times like these when energy is spent elsewhere, our basic love, affection, admiration, hangs on to that thread of friendship.  A few days ago I was fortunate to get out of the office rather early at 7pm and headed to a restaurant for drinks with a friend, I get a text message from Bo:'s it going?  I miss you, isn't the restaurant going to close soon?
That brought a smile  to my face.  It's not a terribly big deal but it does make me happy that my husband misses his wife!

Regarding the previous two posts, thanks to all commenters.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kanye Shrug

Monday, October 29, 2012

How I wish I could share the chuckle Bo and I just had regarding this post, but I think it's probably best to keep it an inside joke!

Moving along...

The one thing I've learned for sure in keeping this blog is that the nature of the medium itself allows everyone to participate in one of the purest human ways possible.  There's always what is being said, and what is the truth/motivation behind what is being said.  I've found that once you can discern the two, it's easier to let go and enjoy the blog for what it is.  This goes for both the author and the audience of the blog.  I enjoy this aspect so tremendously.  Now for the comments section, I've found that it almost always says much more about the person commenting, than the subject the comments are directed to.  It is usually out of some personal experience that motivates one to go through the hassle of leaving a comment.  Fascinating.  Reading comments is my favorite part of keeping this blog.

Which leads me to my last post.  There's a comment by someone called Uloms and a few other visitors (welcome to my blog!).  To ease your various concerns for me and my living in bondage or pain (I can't even believe I typed that!) let me reassure you that I am not in bondage or in pain.  Thanks for the concern.  I'm also quite free.  Now, to ask a truly honest question, how would you know if I were telling the truth about being free and not in bondage or in pain?  I'm really interested to know mostly because I personally think it would require some sort of leap of faith for you in what I am writing.  Believe or not, there's really no way for you to know for sure, ever.  So I personally don't see a need for such a strong feeling on the subject!  :-)

There was a comment on infertility.  Yes, I have a condition that is similar to, but not, PCOS.  No, your guess was wrong.  Bo & I are on birth controls and have never, not once, even tried to TTC.  Whenever Bo & I do start TTC, we may have conception issues or we may not. We will cross the bridge when we get there.  PCOS and other similar conditions are very serious issues affecting many women the world over and I do not take the issue lightly out of utter respect and compassion for those who struggle with it and its implications daily.  I don't bandy it about and it matters to me a great deal that I don't distort my experiences living with it.  Thus, if I were TTC and having troubles, I would mention it if only to assure others they weren't alone.  To those who care, I don't know what it's like TTC with PCOS because I've never tried, when I do, I will definitely share the journey to provide information and to encourage.

Lastly, isn't it incredulous that some would say "You are thinking too much about having a baby"?  It's a baby for chrissakes!  I like that I oscillate about whether or not I'm ready, I do think it's completely responsible and acceptable behaviour to consider all options and listen to all experiences before embarking on such a journey.  It is good to read all sorts of books, to talk about it, to be honest with oneself and to explore one's emotions.  These are all great things to do before bringing another human being into the world.  I'm supposed to be allowed to go on incessantly about weddings and love but I can't go on incessantly about such a key product of weddings, marriage, and love?  Really?  Furthermore, it would not be responsible behaviour on my part to imply in any way that all women must want babies, and/or all women must be so sure in their hearts about their feelings and desires.  It is entirely okay, not be so sure.  If there are people out there who have made decisions not to have babies or to defer their child-rearing periods and never talk about this decision because it was such an easy no-brainer, I'm happy for them.  Alas, as for me, I have a blog and I'm free to talk about it, the way I feel it.    I like that my posts show it is not an easy decision and it's okay to go back and forth.

This blog is about happily ever after, the real story of love, marriage, relationship.  The happily ever after where babies are discussed over and over again, mortgage, paying for school fees, leaving a will in case of unexpected death, saving and scrounging for cash and savings, getting your heart broken by your spouse, cuddling to sleep, and waking up to 1000 kisses are discussed.

To just look at pretty wedding pictures and skip over the daily routines of building a life, there's always the Bella Naija wedding pages!

Friday, October 19, 2012

On Everything

Friday, October 19, 2012
One of my favorite book titles is called On Beauty by Zadie Smith, and even though I still have not gotten around to completing the book, I do think it's a fantastic title.  Like the beginning of a conversation, or a telling of sorts.  So since the breaks here are getting wider and wider, I'll use that same format.

On Life in General
I'm in a decent place with life.  I feel like I have a good grasp on what to expect and what not to expect out of people, out of situations, out of life.  I'm finally comfortable and confident with that.  It's different from the younger days where one's head was in the clouds and the paths to this or that seemed like such a straight line, a straight story.  However life is not like that.  The beauty of life is that it can be unpredictable so one has to be flexible.  This is a lesson to learn and I'm finally in a peaceful place about this.

Over the last few years, all stemming from my wedding period, I've had to evaluate what friendship and family means to me.  There were friends who showed themselves to not be very friendly and there were family members who it became obvious wanted me to fail than to be happy and healthy.  Also after marriage I immensely enjoyed new friendships forged with women who were also newly married and going through the same stage as I am.  That, surprisingly, has been short lived.  I'm finding that that entire period really has a rapidly approaching expiry date on it.  I really enjoyed it but now, as I move further and further away from my actual wedding date, those friendships based on the craziness of that period are becoming less relevant to me now.  I'm also learning that this is okay.  All of this has allowed me to know exactly what I want in a friend and I'm now getting to a point that the people that are around me now, many of whom are new friends, are more in line with who I am fundamentally.  It's a little bit about common phases in life, and common experiences, but more and more it's more about shared outlook on life in general.  This is good.

Speaking of friendships, I'm currently in a place where I cherish, absolutely cherish the company of other women.  I know many ladies tend to be apprehensive about other women, some even defensive, but I've found that I really cherish hanging out with other women.  We have so much thrown at us, so much to consider, so much responsibility.  I'm just amazed, proud and genuinely interested in each of our stories.  I also believe it's important we validate ourselves and we are kind to one another.  Everyone needs a little help, and it's just that much more challenging being a Nigerian woman living in Nigeria.  So much is expected of you.  We should be kind to each other.

On Having a Baby
Bo and I have decided not to have kids for a few more YEARS.  In some ways this has been a hard decision but in many other ways, it's been an easy decision.  I'm currently working on a work project and it just dawned on me that I am so much more excited about this project than I am about expanding our unit of two.  Like significantly more excited, fired up.  I think I've suspected it for a while but I've finally come to peace about the fact that I'm just not a very maternal person.  I have so much pressure from all sides: mothers, friends, medical, but at the end of it all this is my life and I only have one to live.  I have a responsibility to myself, and to my husband, to pursue and follow my instincts and my gut.  My gut says, establish yourself, then establish your home.  Truth is, being CEO of a business that is successful, adds to the economy, and employs tons of Nigerians, is more important to me than being a mother right now.  It certainly isn't so for everyone but I have to be honest with myself, it is so for me.  And this is a hard thing for me to admit and even as I type this, I want to go back and delete the words but I delete from the screen does not mean I can delete from my heart.  It's even harder as everyone around me pastes pics of their growing babies, or even as they start the journey as parents of TWO.  They have gone so far beyond what my brain can comprehend :-)  Their lives seem so different from mine.

On Marriage
My marriage is the biggest blessing in my life.  It is everything and more all at the same time.  I am so lucky.  I have a home that is happy, and peaceful, and filled with love, support, and kind words.  I would like to say though I think increasingly it is important to look for a partner with a genuinely good heart.  Someone who is a good person and whose walk in faith is very important to them.  I really think that is the secret, everything else is rubbish regardless of what anyone may have you believe.  You will know when someone is a good person with a good heart when you see them, they are selfless, they are caring, they want to be helpful, they are are respectful, they are kind, even to those who aren't kind to them.  You will know because they do everything to live peaceably with all men.  Once you find someone like that, be good to them as well and they will cherish and love you all their days.  The hard part of learning to love is learning to love someone's imperfections: not sexy enough, not yellow enough, not buff enough, fat, short, smelly breath, bad kisser, bad dresser, etc etc.  Those things are cosmetic and by the very law of nature, all those guys that have all those things tend to know they are hot commodity and are less likely to be kind genuine souls.  So give it up.  The way Bo dresses now is completely, completely different from how he used to dress when I met him.  It wasn't even deliberate on my part, but as part of building our lives together I'm just always there when he shops and he asks for my opinion and I give it - meaning slowly his style has involved into something heavily influenced by me.  I would hate to think I missed out on the happiness I have now in my marriage because I thought he was an awful dresser.  Take a leap of faith on the nice guy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Elevens - Meme

Monday, September 10, 2012
A little while a go, the lovely Nenyenwa tagged me in a post.  My apologies it's taken this long to respond.  Things get hectic and sometimes it takes me a while to actually look through all the comments AND act on whatever needs to be acted on.  Either, I say late is better than never! :-)


1) Share one word that describes you

2) What is the one misconception about you that you would like to correct?
That I don't work hard to get what I have.  I am truly blessed and God strengthens me even when I don't deserve it but I really work hard at everything: work, family, marriage, friendships.

3) You are gorgeous, smart and have accomplished a lot but would you change anything about yourself? what would it be?
I think I would like to be more generous in giving.  Giving even to those on the street who ask instead of questioning their motives.

4) Do you have one movie that you can watch over and over again?
Only You.

5) What is your favorite type of movie? drama vs comedy vs action and so on
Action, then romantic comedy or historical drama.

6) Whenever you look in the mirror what do you see? would you change anything about the reflection in the mirror? what would you change?
I see a work in progress - meaning, I appreciate where I'm coming from but I've still got a ways to go!  

7) Name two things you have to do everyday?
Check my work email, have breakfast.

8) Do you have a bad habit that is even annoying to you but you have tried to quit and can't?
I get so excited sometimes I'm not patient enough to wait for whoever's talking to finish talking.  I jump in.  Bad habit!

9) Remember your last fight (physical or verbal) and share what it is about- it is ok if it is personal and you don't want to share.
Definitely verbal - with our driver.  He's gone.

10) Do you talk to yourself while driving (mostly complaining about pedestrians or other drivers)?
I talk to myself A LOT while driving.  Mostly because I don't listen to the radio or CDs, I like to just be myself and my thoughts in the car.

11) When dating the opposite or same sex, what is usually the deal breaker that makes you say I will never see that guy or gal again?  If you are married or in a relationship, think back when you were dating.
Evidence of verbal, emotional abuse.  Physical abuse is one that I can't even conceive of, VERY VERY off the charts.  But I always look out for emotional abuse - anyone that manipulates your feelings or emotions can be very dangerous and unhealthy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Does It Feel?

Thursday, August 30, 2012
I want to write this post to remind myself of how everything feels at this moment.

We're slowly moving to our 3rd year and I can hardly believe it.  I think about it and I'm immensely proud of many things.  One that we've waited this long to have kids.  Whenever we used to talk about children before and shortly after engagement, we weren't quite sure we even WANTED children.  We liked the peace and quiet and kind of like the way our lives were.  Also we wanted to wait till we were a bit more financially stable.  That was a big motivation.  Not necessarily until we were "rich" but till the point where either our finances were gaining momentum or we were at a place where we could see our goals in the distance.  It's been really difficult, and really challenging.  A very interesting journey that saw me researching childless marriages, reading books about women who choose never to have children.  It had us discussing Bo's really lack of enthusiasm for actually having kids.  He didn't NOT like it but I don't think he saw himself in that role at all.  I would dip in and out.  Still, now we are at such a glorious place.  I'm really really really pleased we have been able to wait to get to this point.  We've finally paid off all our wedding debts, smoothed out a monthly savings plan, bought a home, things just seem....calm and stable.  And all of a sudden, everything doesn't feel out of place in that regard.  I've dealt with most of my demons about having children, and Bo is just...amazing.  His turnaround is amazing.  He seems to now love kids.  Whenever we enter a room with kids in it his eyes just sort of twinkle and he loves interacting and playing with them.  It's almost like it's a different man.  It's really great watching him grow as an individual.  We couldn't have done it any other way.  We just couldn't have.  This has been the best way for us.

I cherish our time together now.  I look at our wedding mate friends, almost all of whom already have at least one child, and I'm really impressed by how they did it and how they cope with it.  We couldn't have done it, it wouldn't have been right.  We know each other much more deeply than we did before, we're more stable in our love, finances, relationship, it's almost organic that now we're getting to a place where we are very ready for what's next, to introduce another dimension.  The surprise I guess is that it's been organic, and I wouldn't have experienced this feeling if we rushed into things.  I remember watching a Beyonce interview around when she was pregnant, and she said something like..."Everything feels perfect.  Like this is the right time and everything is just falling into place."  I GET that.

Regarding our relationship, our marriage?  I'm most amazed by that.  I'm so extremely pleased to be out of the wedding phase.  Looking back on it now, it was fraught with so much excitement, tension, anxiety...just, newness.  I feel now like my life is back to normal, except I'm a better me.  If that makes any sense.  I look at this fragile thing called marriage in absolute awe.  It's the most precious thing to me and it's almost like I carry it around in my heart/head like an egg.  I'm much much more in love with this man today than I ever was, and it's not even a heart pitter patter type of thing.  More that I love who we are together.  I love the history, the life we're building together.  I love that he's always in my corner.  I love that I see his face everyday, and I know in his heart I'm the most important person to him.  I love the knowing, what he's about, what's he's not into, how his life is woven together.  The slow, undramatic, melting of two lives into one.  That is amazing.  I cherish it so much.

We fight so much, we disagree so much, there's indescribable tension a lot of the times but even all of it is part of our story.  As the days wear on, we forget some of the rules we made for ourselves sometimes, but I'm just really proud that there are basic tenets that make up the fabric of our relationship, so even when things are really bad, we don't emotionally bruise each other with wanton.  I'm proud of that.  I'm proud of us.

Through it all I think I'm most pleasantly surprised firstly that the true "fairytale" doesn't even begin when the credits roll after the wedding.  It begins slowly, un-trumpeted, at least a year later.  You wake up and realize, now, I can REALLY be with this person for all eternity.

I am aware that the gift of this relationship is rare, it is uncommon.  I think we both are.  But shall I tarnish it, or jettison it, or run away, or discredit it for what it is?  That would be unfair.  It is a blessing of God and I am deeply and forever thankful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Of Brides and Weddings

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
I hated being a bride.  It's not often that you would see this in print but it's true.  I actually googled "I hate planning my wedding" during wedding planning.  No joke.  It was that bad.  I never thought of myself as a bride growing up, I never even dreamt of it.  In fact, weddings to me where something that happened to other people, like cheerleading.  It just wasn't part of my life plan.  Until I became a fiancee and the inevitable had come.

My wedding and wedding planning were not family love fest.  In fact I felt more abandoned than ever. There were no goos and aaahs with my dress, I went alone to all my fittings.  We talked about flower girls and ring bearers but the truth was that no one in both our families had kids small enough yet old enough to fit the role.  After much wrangling, that idea was jettisoned.  I remember getting dressed and it was me and my two bridesmaids.  That's it.  No aunt knocking on the door, no mothers, sisters, cousins, champagne juice drinking or anything like that.  I had tea.  I only took one picture with my mother actually and that on her way to her to take her seat at the venue because she was 15min late.

Another observation in hindsight was that had I known that the fairytale magazine wedding doesn't happen like that for everyone, or that it WAS possible to actually not enjoy parts of the process, I would have taken the time to do things more to my gut.  I ended up having a long dress, a long veil, etc etc, but if I were able to do a do-over I think I would do things exactly how I wanted to, even if it was a little odd or quirky.  Instead of planning the wedding around whether others would have a good time, I should have planned around whether me and Bo would have a good time.

I'm writing on this reflection simply because I've noticed that 80% of my friends who are getting married or are close to it, are so focused on the wedding, and I understand, but consider that it may not be exactly as you thought.  And like I also advice friends about marriage, with wedding planning, you don't automatically stop being yourself.  You still have the same worries, same sense of humor, same wahala, same anxieties as you did before.  So don't necessarily expect it to be a Cinderella story, do what it is that's right for YOU, everything else will fall into place.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Can I Tell You A Story?

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Wow.  I'm so overwhelmed right now.  In these past few months I've made it a mission to go out of my way to talk to women about their relationships, their marriages, their experiences.  Tonight I had one of those deep conversations that just brought everything home to me.  I'm really so overwhelmed and writing  this from a place of just......information overload.

First of all, how do you women do it?

I mean women who cook, clean, take care of the house, take care of the husband, take care of the staff, take care of the career, take of the parents-in-law, take care of the other in-laws, take care of your own parents, take care of friends, take care of do you do it ALL???  My God!  Over and over I keep expecting to meet a woman who is like you know what?  My relationship is what's most important, I take care of that and we just kind of find our way around each other.

Then I hear of women who say negative things about their husband to their friends, their mother, aunties, brothers, sisters, cousins.  Or who find it hard to have basic conversations with their husbands.

I'm overwhelmed because I think one, how did I get so lucky, how did God love me so much that I have such a wonderful relationship with my husband without so much drama and/or baggage?  Things just came naturally to us like, ok, never swear to your spouse, always appreciate your spouse, never fight in front of others, never.....blah blah blah.  We just discussed this from the beginning, agreed, and that was that.  While I know we are very lucky us two, I used to think surely this kind of relationship is what others also must work towards.  Now I don't think so.

First, I feel like telling every lady I know, love yourself and be your own woman.  Do not wait for a man to complete you.  Demand for respect and understanding of your person, who you are, your goals, your experiences.  Demand for it and then wait till he shows you with his actions that he gets it.  Start exactly how you mean to go.  If you are not going to be washing dishes and ironing clothes, just don't do it.  Don't.  You don't have to fake it, and don't listen to anyone who says you have to fake it.  It'll only cause problems later on.  Don't behave like a wife before your husband has shown himself to be a man and taken you to your parents saying this is my wife.  Just don't do it.  By don't behave like a wife I mean you are not his family member yet, don't act like you are.  Until he welcomes you into the house formally, be polite to all family members but remain aloof.  Maintain a respectful distance.  If they love you they should tell their family member to make the next step.

I think it's important for a man to be a MAN.  He should be ready and willing to make those tough calls.  Don't make excuses for it.  Take nothing else.  If anyone wants to be with you, he should show himself to be a man first.  And without you pushing or scheming for that.

Equally important, be kind, be thoughtful, be caring, be selfless, be loving.  Be kind.  Believe in your partner, believe in his abilities, compliment him, be his number one cheer leader.

For crying out loud, don't complain or say negative things to people about your husband.  Don't tell any living soul he's useless, he's selfish, he's stubborn.....etc etc.  Don't.  It's not respectful to your husband who's supposed to be the head of the house.  Respect him.  It's so distasteful.  This does not mean don't talk to anyone, but talk about scenarios, talk about circumstances, talk about what your challenges are.  But don't talk out of anger and don't ever ever demean your husband to any body...your mother, your brother, your sister, your father, your uncle.  You're a big girl.  Sort it out!

I'm saying this because I'm just so overwhelmed with what women who have been candid are saying.  The things they do.  I want to yell, please marriage is hard enough without you yourself sabotaging it.  And I'm not writing from a place of being on a high horse.  I hope this isn't misunderstood in that way.  Bo & I argue a lot.  All the time.  I'm willing to tell every and any one this.  My second year of marriage has been extremely challenging as we settle the family and dig down to create real family roots.  So I understand the unique difficulties.  It is out of this I say please, it's hard enough as it is don't sabotage it.

Not all men are bad, not all men are dogs.  Not all men cheat, not all men want housemaids for a wife.  Not all men need to be "trained", not all men need to be mothered.  Not all men want to be tricked or gamed or deceived.  Not all men expect you to be domesticated in the same way.  Don't assume they all do.  Not all marriages are burdensome.  I tell my friends all the time, some people are happy.  Some people are actually happy.  Don't come in defeatist.  You can create a happy environment.  It is possible.

We need to stop sabotaging ourselves.  I've just needed to get this off my chest.

Ladies, chill.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I tried to write....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I tried to write about you

About our love, our friendship

About our journey, about our laughs

And fears, and anxieties

Of epic and not so epic battles

Of the first ebb and flow

Then thousand little ebbs and flows

I tried to write about me

Learning to love

Learning to trust

Speaking up boldly, listening closely,

Apologizing coyly

Figuring out who I am in the midst of change

I tried to write about us

Talking and laughing

Crying and Sighing

Holding on to each other as storms rage

Growing into God’s love as we age

Seating back, making plans

I tried to write about us

But the words weren’t clear enough

The time wasn’t slow enough

The paper wasn’t long enough

My heart wasn’t still enough

So everyday, I write a little more.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Season

Thursday, February 23, 2012
What are you giving up for lent, what are you giving up for Lent?

That's the familiar refrain once Ash Wednesday rolls around. Personally I don't believe in giving up one insignificant and/or random thing in your life. Fasting is a worthwhile "skill" to develop as a Christian. The spiritual effects of denying the body nourishment in order to look to God and depend on God wholly and totally for guidance is a really fulfilling one. It's a worthwhile challenge.

Last year Bo and I decided we were going to take up the challenge after hearing a powerful sermon at our church the week before Lenten season. We were not going to be dogmatic about it but allow ourselves to be changed and challenged. We discussed as a family three prayer points we wanted to bring before God and that were going to be the theme of our prayers. Whenever the hunger pangs get too much or we think we couldn't possibly make it another minute we pray. We supported each other too. So there were times I'd call Bo begging to break our fast, and he'd talk through it with me and we'd continue. There were days either he or I couldn't make it but instead of dwelling on it, we forgave each other and started anew the next day. It was a very tough and difficult exercise but it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. One of the things we were praying about we saw a concrete breakthrough even before the end of the Lenten Season. I knew God had answered our prayers because we did not discuss with anybody and the way that door opened was seemingly completely random. It was awesome. And the blessings and lessons we received during the season lasted us throughout the whole year! As a reason we've been looking forward to this special time. I'm challenged even further to ensure that the purpose in my heart is not things, but to strengthen my walk with God and for both of us to mature in our Christianity.

We're going to try again this year and it's going to be even more awesome. I chose to blog about this and I guess I may have more spiritual posts in the next 7 weeks, because it is important to me to encourage anybody else in this regard.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day At a Time

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I've taken a hiatus from the blog but mostly because I've been busy with work and family. Yes, I know regular excuse. I was not even able to check on my favorite blogs so imagine Bo's confusion when I squealed in excitement for ChiChi's baby and Amy's baby addition! Congratulations to these fabulous new mamas who are a part of my blog community. Your daughters are gorgeous :-)

Nothing much's new in the BoKem household which is just as well. I think I've mentioned here before how rarely we fight or argue which is really a blessing. Also I think we're even more used to each other's nuisances and we respect each other even moreso today than we did when we got married two years ago. So nowadays once we notice tension prone moments we both just slow down and thread carefully in order to diffuse the tension. Initially it was tough to have to will yourself over to your spouse, whom you feel is wrong by the way lol, and do something just to diffuse tension and get things in order. For example it was difficult for me after a tension-filled moment to then go and hug and kiss my hubby and just generally cuddle up to him. I'm getting easier with that. Even if I'm right. Probably it's because we both hate confrontation which works for us!

About baby watch, well, I'm in a GREAT place with that. I LOVE that we haven't rushed things and that we talk about having children and raising them so much these days I'm so glad that we have this time to talk around it. We've talked about spacing our kids, we've talked about education and our desires regarding that, we've talking about family dynamics and encouraging equality and confidence between the children, we've talked about the principles and values we want to build within the family unit, and more. It's been really enlightening and I feel so much that we are within God's plan for us. We're in a really good place regarding this I think. I don't feel much that it is about me, I feel that it is about us. I don't feel rushed or hurried. I don't really stay away from children anymore fearing everyone would look at me thinking "awww..." I'm so very confident that when it's the time for us. It will just fit naturally into our lives. No jamming it in there. There's an incredible sense of peace I have now, that I didn't have even 6 months ago and I thank God for that. I think part of why it's this way is that I've fully accepted who I am, who my husband is, and how we feel. It's okay. We don't gawk or fawn at babies, we're very detached about it sometimes. A friend of ours showed us a picture of a baby and she was so smitten, asking me "look, isn't she so cute". Honestly I felt no heart strings. Neither did my husband. She was a bit shocked. I'm now okay with it. That's just the way God made me!

On another note, I was out to dinner with my Aunt recently and she tutted at me when I suggested the dinner because she asked me "Hope you've prepared dinner for Bo?" I replied that we both had to eat dinner somehow somewhere and Bo is an adult, I don't have to remain hungry until he eats. We like to eat dinner together, and since I do get home before he does I tend to just make dinner for the both of us however our understanding is that we both have a responsibility to each other to ensure that the other party is not starving at the end of the day. My Aunt was appalled! Funny enough, Bo came to pick me up from the restaurant, I asked if he was hungry he said yes and we came home and both in the kitchen made stir-fry. He was glad I stuck around the kitchen. That was that. My aunt didn't understand that it was entirely possible for me to eat and enjoy dinner without bothering myself and worrying and preparing my husband's food first. I think it's important to be open-minded, and light-hearted about these things. Whatever works best for my husband and I and the lifestyle we lead is what I will do. I have no interest in being my husband's mother, he's got a very capable mother! I'm his hot, sexy, interesting, intelligent, funny babe, Ha!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Continuous Learning

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Happy New Year to you and yours. Very happy and grateful to God to be alive to witness this new year and I pray that all reading this will be sustained under His grace and mercy throughout this year. Remember to renew your prayer life, He will answer whenever you call. Amen.

The holiday was very relaxing in the BoKem household. Nothing really stressful. We both needed a good mind-numbing vacation and happily sank into the nothingness of the days. By the end of it though, Bo was ready to get back to work (and start making money lol) and I was ready to re-energize and re-focus. As talked about in the last post we have a loose plan for 2012 so we know each other's priorities individually and as a unit. We also sat down during the holidays to do a monthly budget in excel, so there's less tension regarding finances and saving. I'm very big on saving this year, and now with the removal of fuel subsidy, that has become even more imperative.

On to other things, one of my grand prayers when praying about Bo and I is that God should teach us how to love each other the way the other person needs to be loved. Sometimes I just shorten it to Lord teach us how to love each other. I find this is a grand prayer because it just encompasses every single challenge within a relationship, within a marriage. Both parties aren't perfect and will never be, so the remainder 20% that's not what you bargained for you've got to occupy it and love it away. That's really the big challenge. I read in one of Gary Chapman's books where he said he used to always complain about his wife NEVER shutting the drawers/cabinets in the house, which was especially upsetting since he always managed to run into it. After years of complaining about this he just realized that, well, his wife may NEVER change and if he was going to lead a happy (injury-free) life, he's going to have to learn to shut drawers/cabinets all over the house. I always remember this story because I believe it's a great attitude to have about many things, especially within a marriage. Bo is an incredible neat freak, which is great, but for some reason he never puts empty water bottles in the bin, he always leaves them hanging about the kitchen sink. This used to bother me until I just said to myself, well, he may NEVER change this so I'm going to have to resign myself to putting empty water bottles in the garbage. That's my job. I'm going to be okay with that :-)

This morning Bo says to me, I know you've been planning your birthday Asia trip for a while now, but I was looking at my calendar for work and noticed that your birth month is strategy month at work so I won't be able to take any trips during that month. See, this is where everything I've been writing on this blogpost comes together: my prayer that God teaches us each how to love each other, and Gary's advice to resign yourself to fill in the 20% that bothers you. My husband works in a very demanding industry and moreso he LOVES his job so working is something that fulfills him and I get and respect that. But I also don't desire to move my birthday trip because of his work. I told him this morning that I'd have to go by myself then or with a couple of girlfriends if they can swing it. This is obviously not what I want but while I truly understand his desire to be at work I also feel strongly about taking this trip during my birthday month not a month or two after. I'm not sure this is the best decision yet, so therefore this morning I'm humming my golden prayer in my head over and over, "God please teach me (us) how to love each other the way we need to be loved! Teach me (us) what I should do or say in this situation."

We'll see how it goes!
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