Journaling your life

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When I first started this blog I intended to document every possible aspect of our wedding preparations and the actual“day”. Blogging turned out to be a lot more addictive than I expected and long after the wedding posts were done and dusted I was still blogging. I enjoyed scripting our lives and noting down details that I would otherwise not remember (bad case of goldfish memory here people). Three years down the line I read the posts in utter bewilderment. Being able to reflect on how we progressed from being a couple and then to being married and now to have a child…there is really nothing like it.

I was recently approached by a leading women’s magazine in Oman with the request to write a page on “Wedding Blogs” simply because I have one. However my “Wedding Blog” evolved over the years to become something of a totem of our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly. My best friend always warns people that I am the worst person to talk to about being married because I tell it as it is. All of it. You would probably never hear me say the cliché phrases of “I am married to my best friend” or “I am so glad I found my soulmate” because quite frankly none of that relates to us. I am more likely to tell a bride-to-be that it’s a really long, tough road that will test your patience, courage, love and temper. That there are days when everything hangs on by a thread and there are nights where you don’t even think you will make it till the morning. Marriage is hard work people. You have to work hard to make it work. I agree that three and half years of holy matrimony doesn’t exactly make me an expert and maybe the odds and statistics are against us (every second marriage ends in divorce, seriously!) but I also think the hardest part is behind us and the ride will be a little smoother from now on.

Anyways, I got carried away, forgive me. Here is the article that was published this month:

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Wedding mementos are traditionally kept in the form of sacred vows, entertaining videos and heartfelt portraits.  As time passes more details begin to slip through the fingers until only the brightest and most memorable events of the day can be recalled. This is where journaling has come in to save the day for modern brides and grooms.  Documenting a wedding experience through an online diary or blog has become the new favorite way to recollect and more importantly share the wedding experience with others.

The desire to hang on to every sweet detail is primary reason for the creation of my person wedding blog- Happily Married to a Biker.  The engagement, the bittersweet preparations, the chaotic errands and the thrilling emotions that enveloped the most important day of our lives are all documented in this online journal. Creating a blog helped to cast in stone thousands of details that separately did not seem at all exciting.

A white wedding filled with family and friends and topped with a delicious cake is a direct result of very hard work, hundreds of hours of planning and the unlimited effort many people. It is equally important to remember how the bride’s dress came to be, who helped the groom write his speech, who picked out the invitations and what was on the menu. After all, months of planning go into one single day – the most important day of the couple’s lives.

Whilst planning the wedding I eagerly browsed the internet in search for tips and tricks to everything; from trendy napkin colors to the most fashionable shoes and I was pleased to discover many bloggers who generously shared their wedding experience with anyone willing to spare some time. Reading about the challenges and following the advice of couples who have already gone through a similar experience and learning from their mistakes has in many aspects helped us to make our wedding a success.

Three and half years have passed since the day we said our “I Do’s” and we have just recently become parents to a perfect baby girl. Many years from now when she hungrily analyzes our wedding album and bombards me with questions and I will probably be able to answer every single one of them- because I will remember. When she is old enough she will browse the blog and read entry after entry that will in detail show her how her parents fell in love, how they planned the wedding and every single anecdote of that day. She will not have to listen to me vaguely recall the events of the day or patiently wait for me to remember what flavor the wedding cake was because it will all be right there for her to read.

The actual wedding party is just the icing on the cake. I can boldly claim that we had more fun bringing the puzzle pieces together over the course of three months than we did during the actual wedding day. The wedding was extraordinary and absolutely picture perfect. Wedding pictures may be worth a thousand words but how the picture came to be is worth a million. I strongly recommend couples to document their wedding experience through a blog but they should remember to share both the good and the bad because everything that happened along the way contributed to the beginning of their brand new life together.

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Kids these days…

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Recently we had the pleasure of spending about 90hrs babysitting my 8 year old brother. Both of his parents were out of the country on business and we stepped up to the challenge and offered to look after him. Family. I thought it would be a nice practice run for “the future”. Since we are both working full time, juggling his school, extra curricular activities, homework and etc was extremely challenging. Luckily my mom was able to arrange for a close family friend to pick him up everyday afterschool so at least that was off our shoulders.

My mom was sure to leave us a detailed (seriously…A-Z guide to Eliya) schedule, lunch box contents plan and school uniform rotation schedule (for P.E Days, Karate Days and normal school uniform days- see what I mean?)

A typical day would start at 6:45am when I would drag my sleepy lifeless body out of bed into the shower for a blissful 15 minutes of what was bound to be the most peaceful part of my day! At 7:00am sharp my brother had to be woken up, bribed to get out of bed and sent along to wash up and brush his teeth. We would then both rush downstairs to a ready lunch box, uniform and school bag (thank God for his nanny!). I would then get dressed and ready for work to the theme of Perry the Platypus while the child enjoyed a few minutes of TV. At 7:sharp we would be out of the door with his dragging what appeared to be a 10kg schoolbag (Umm..pregnant…can’t carry heavy stuff…whats in there? Bricks???”. HI FM Radio and a buckled seatbelt were just some of the requirements of the journey. Along the way we would revise for a spelling test ” Spell SEAT…C-E…NOOOO….S–E—E—Noooo!!!”  or he would tell me about his most recent discovery “There is a spider that can kill you in seconds”. Dropping him and the giant backpack (full of concrete bricks) at the gate I would then probably have to return back to my parents house for any of the following: a.my bag b.my change of clothes for yoga c.both of my phones. (Pregnant-memory of a…of a what? how does that saying go?)

Then my day would return to some level of normality up until 5:30pm when I knew he had to be picked up, dropped off somewhere or called. On Sundays he had karate. On Mondays he had Music. On Tuesday he had Arabic lessons. The one time it was Alex’s turn to pick him up he managed to be 20 minutes late to a half an hour music lesson, by then I had a frantic Arabic teacher calling me to claim that they have an exam tomorrow and he is waiting to revise with him and a really frustrated husband who could not find the way to the music teacher’s house making international phone calls our mother! Phew. There was just so much going on. I mean- I was exhausted for him!

In the evenings we could no longer come back to a quite house, flop on the sofa and enjoy an hour of absolutely meaningless conversations or TV Shows. Oh no. Alex was forced to play motor racing games on the PSP (noisy black pocket-sized killing machine) and I was then in no position to refuse a round of Plants vs Aliens on the IPad. All this was usually followed by a viewing of “My BabySitter is a Vampire” or some other absurd show on Disney Channel.

Bedtime was really chaotic. By the time both of us were on our last breaths (9pm ahem…) the child was refusing to go to bed and threatening to “phone mom and make her let him stay up longer”, which is where I would usually lose my cool confiscate the telephone and send him marching upstairs. After a few minutes of ” I am…yawn…not even…yawn…sleepy…yawn” loud snores would fill the room and I would breathe a sight of relief.

This only continued for about 4 days but it has really taught both of us a lot. After 3 peaceful years of just us and the cat ( a very quite chilled out cat) we were definitely taken aback by all the commotion and disruption a child can cause.

Ah. 8 year-olds and their 5 thousand afterschool activities are such an eye opener.

The Boss of "Not Fun"

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Those of you who know me personally or read this blog often know that I have a little brother who is just 7 years old. We have a 15 year difference between us which of course makes me the adult in this relationship-right? Consequently the latter also gives me the right to dictate, oppress and generally boss him around. Kids are supposed to behave. Adults are supposed to worry, obsess and calculate every possible risk that surrounds the child.
I firmly believe that my brother is utterly spoiled. He is not a brat by any means, he just always gets his way. He even has a shirt that says ‘If mommy said no, ask daddy”. Did I make my point? The kid owns an IPad for God’s sake! Did I make my point now?
Now, I try to spend as much time as possible with him although my work schedule tends to get in the way of this. We go to the cinema, he sleeps over and we even take his dog to the beach sometimes (ok, we did that once, but we will do it again!). I like to think that we generally have fun! I even let him eat ice cream for dinner. I am a fun sister.

He begs to differ. It just so happened that our mom left on a business trip yesterday and she will be away for the next ten days! I took a stand, pointed my finger at that child and said “Listen Ilya, while mom is gone, I am the boss around here”. To which he swiftly replied ” Ya…the boss of NOT FUN”. I was speechless I tell you. Am I really the boss of not fun? Ok, so maybe I did give him a hard time about having pancakes with jam for dinner, and ya I never let him do back flips in the pool and he is certainly not allowed to cycle without a helmet- but that just makes me a sensible adult, right?
I may be just a little obsessive compulsive but in the long run he will benefit from it. I just don’t want him to grow up thinking that his sister is a bore…because I can be all sorts of fun!
A few months back the husband and I witnessed a scene that is forever burnt into my brain. We were standing at the counter of Oman Dive Center and a little baby who could not be more than 10 months old was crawling half naked on the floor behind the counter. This kid was everywhere. (She?) got hold of diving equipment, climbed into baskets, ate things off the floor and eventually crawled out of the reception area…right towards the pool. No one was watching this kid. She kept on crawling until she was at the very edge of the pool and that’s when I could not take it any longer, I ran to her, picked her up and brought her back to the lady who I assumed was responsible for her. The woman thanked me  and calmly said “Don’t worry she almost always stops when she crawls to the edge of the pool”. Seriously. I was petrified. The husband on the other hand applauded the fact that the child is growing up so freely and can explore and learn on her own and is not “wrapped in an overprotective bubble”. Seriously? I cannot emphasize the extent to which I would freak out if our future kids ever get near a pool without proper swimming lessons or a life guard on watch.  The fact that Alex applauds Tarzan-like upbringing worries me somewhat.
It also makes me quite certain that when we have kids I will have pictures similar to these to share:

Will I soon be promoted to Mayor of No Fun Land?

Because we all have moments like these:

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♥ I love you blah blah hearts and flowers yadda yadda cupid etc ♥

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Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Although we are still in abundant disbelief to the theft of our Honda and are suffering an identity crisis of immense magnitude- we have each other this Valentine’s Day and it’s all that counts. I have mixed feelings towards Valentine’s Day and although I always pretend not to celebrate it, I end up making a big deal out of it every year.

This is the forth Valentine’s Day we are spending together as a couple and our second one in marriage. We have what I like to call “The love that moves the sun and other stars”. We have been through more challenges and fights than I can dare to count, moved mountains and crossed oceans (quite literally) to get to where are now. In the meantime we are constantly taking deep breaths and finding compromises. Being the proud and strong headed individuals that we are- agreeing on the smallest things is a daily challenge. Against all odds the bigger picture is turning out “picture-perfect” and I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have him as my husband.

So thank you for the small things like making my coffee this morning, taking me out for sushi although you can’t stand the sight of it, for understanding why I need 6 pairs of identical black shoes, for taking the cat to the vet when I was pre-occupied with work, for being patient with me after I come back cranky from a 12 hour shift, for tip toeing around me when you need to wake up at 6 am, for making my brother pancakes when he sleeps over, for helping me find and then figure out the remote control, for watching “Ghost Whisperer” with me and for acknowledging my love for “Lays Salt and Vinegar Chips” and never forgetting to buy them.
And thank you for the universal things that come naturally to you like the respect you show to me and my family, the responsibility that you carry on your shoulders daily, for the eagerness to turn our house into a home and start a family, for having a solid vision of what the future must hold for us, for following your dreams and entwining them with mine, for always putting our family first, for not being afraid of challenges, for reassuring me in times of uncertainty and for tolerating my frequent emotional outbreaks.

I love you and I am so thankful for having you in my life.