Saturday, 31 December 2016

My 2016 :)

This year's review will be different from the ones I have written in the last few years. In case you're interested, here are the reviews from 20112012, 20132014 and 2015. (Hadn't quite realised that I have been blogging for so long!) It has been a difficult year and as a result, I haven't blogged nearly as much as I would like so that I wouldn't fill my blog with negativity and sadness - there's enough of that in the world without me adding to it. I am determined that my blog is skewed in favour of positive blessings and so here are three things I feel a thankful for as I come to the end of 2016...

My Mum
I didn't make a public announcement that my mum had cancer: it seemed both inappropriate and completely insensitive. So it may come as a little surprise to some of you that for the last 7 months that my family and I have been working around the clock to ensure that my mum has been well looked after because of a cancer that decided to invade one of her lungs. To cut a horrible story short, my mum is now recovering slowly from chemotherapy with part of her left lung gone. She is a fighter, and even though there have been moments of pure sadness in our house, I can happily report that we are all doing well, and that she is expected to make a full recovery.

So this year I must be thankful for my mum, admire her willingness to survive, and applaud the strength that she and the family have had during most of the year. I'm pleased to say that I will be seeing in the new year with her and Dad and hope that all the sadness and pain will be left behind in 2016.

Here she is, staring at her favourite baked good ever - the home made Jammie Dodger! :)

My Play
I'm not sure if I would have survived the year if it wasn't for my constant desire to play. Even when times get rough, I would make time to do what I wanted, in the way that I wanted for my my reasons only. A lot of you have been following my postcard adventures - that's one of the things I do for play. It serves no real purpose but it makes me feel so happy! Hanging out with friends, baking stuff and just wandering around outside for a few moments every day makes a huge difference to me - it resets my mind and gives me the all important balance I need in a world that isn't always an even keel. Here are some of my favourite playful moments of the year:

I met this goat and it is still the most handsome goat I have ever seen.

I dyed some eggs, and I am still so very happy from the process of making that happen!

I went to Guernsey - such a beautiful place that seems to have captured my heart.

I baked some amazing biscuits, and decorated them with my very own doodles!

I took this photo - my best of 2016, I think!

I made a snow dinosaur - the best one so far!

And I went to Singapore and Hong Kong, all on my own and it was awesome.

My Peeps
Being able to hang out with my peeps this year has been super important to me. My peeps are the people who I consider to be my nearest and dearest - both friends and family. I feel so blessed with their presence in my life, and thankful that they are able to surround me with love whenever I need it. Here are some photos that tries to encapsulate all of them, but I haven't photos of them all - Angel, Fiona and Nadia, as well as all of my photo shy friends - you're all awesome! :)

Here is my immediate family and yes it includes my lovely friends Andy and Lisa who became immediate family when they were chosen to the Godparents to my nephew :)

Here is my extended family in Hong Kong who I got to visit this year - very thankful for that!

Here is my friendship family - my lovely PMs :)

This photo represents my work family - Morgan and Andy whom I have no photos of from this year but this will change next year! 

And for good measure, another photo of my adorable niece - a bubbly lifeline in my life...

....and also a photo of my nephew who reminds me every day that it's okay to be happy.

Eventhough 2016 has been hard for me, I know there's a lot to be thankful for. I will learn the lessons I need to but focus more on the joys that I have been blessed with instead of the sadnesses that can be so overwhelming. I know that 2016 will stay in people's memories and go down as one of the most... crazy of all time, but there are always good stuff in the bad and it is my plan to remember 2016 as the year we all survived. I think that's a good way of looking at it, right? :)

Anyway, I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope that your 2017 is filled with happy and that you too can find some good things to remember 2016 by. May your 2017 be adventurous, exciting and joyful! See you next year! :)

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Our PM Office Christmas Party

I met with my college friends, the wonderful PMs for another awesome Christmas. This will make it officially 16 years of Christmasses that we have celebrated together which makes it half of my lifetime's worth of Decembers. And that's quite a lot.

This year we gathered at Shazia's place and we themed the food as the PM Office Christmas party. As it turns out, a lot of us have never been to an office Christmas party before: I've never worked in an office and everyone else just managed to avoid them. So here's what we got up to:

Clockwise from the top right - Pass the Parcel (Sprout edition); all our clues for Shazia's treasure hunt; delicious party snacks made by Shazia; me wearing 4 hats; and more delicious PM Office Christmas party snacks.

This is my team during the treasure hunt. We had an amazing time having no clue what was happening.

Here's the other treasure hunt team. They didn't find as many as us, eventhough we were mostly very confused.

Here is the host herself - hoorah for Shazia!

We played Pointless, and despite not knowing any answers, we still won the coveted Pointless Trophy! Hoorah!

And here we all are - PM Christmas 2016 photo. Aww. I look so pleased.

It's always so lovely to see my lovely PMs. Only three of the 6 of us still live in Manchester, but we still meet here every year and usually spend at least 50% of it laughing with or at eachother. As always, I feel blessed to have this group of friends and hope that we will continue to meet every Christmas for many years to come. I'm not sure that other office Christmas parties are like this but I definitely enjoyed my very first one - hoorah! Thank you for an amazing evening, peeps! :) Let's do this again next year! :D

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Christmas 2016

This year was the year we realised that none of our houses could possibly accommodate the entire family for Christmas. As the family grows, I guess this problem was bound to happen - it's a happy problem, but a problem nonetheless. True to form, the Law Family dealt with it in style so we rented a big house - actually three houses which were stuck together - to fit 9 adults and 2 busy toddlers for one festive long weekend. Here are some photos:

Here's the group Christmas photo! My sister, dad, brother-in-law, mum, sister's mother-in-law, sister's father-in-law, me, my brother and my sister-in-law

We had a sweet set up there - with a mezzanine floor which overlooked the biggest common area.

Here are the little people, my niece and nephew. They are both super busy little walkers now.
Here's my little nephew. We were enjoying some outside time, running around in the field outside. Lots of laughing and squealing - so much joy in this little person! :)

Here he is, the little sweetie.

Here is my little niece. She really likes her hat. This was 7am and she wanted to wear her hat and take a photo with bunny.

Here she is a little later on for some outside time with Auntie Zan. There's the hat again! :)

One more photo of the two of them. They are such funny little people :)

I had an amazing getaway with the family. Relaxing and spacious, with no real responsibilities apart from to eachother and no real internet connection either! With two little people in our lives, there's so much more joy and laughter too. There's nothing quite like hearing their little voices, and getting a tiny hug filled with happy. I'm really grateful for this chance to gather and feel incredibly blessed. I hope to hang out with everyone again soon!