Snap…and we’re done!
I was moved when I saw the photos while sitting in the comfortable viewing room of Orange Studios. While watching the slideshow put together for our family by Ryan the photographer and his wife Winnie, I can’t help but to breathe a sigh of relief and pause.
It’s ironic that even though I’ve shot thousands of photographs this year, I could rarely capture a good one of the family. It was made challenging as our little Buddy has started running (yes…running) and refuses to keep still for the camera. But yet there before my eyes, photo after photo of my family, perfectly captured in natural colour tones, set against the studio’s Christmas backdrops. All our smiles, frozen in time by Ryan’s quick photography intuition and skill. Who would have guessed beneath the smiles belie the stresses and quiet joy of an eventful year.
It has been on all accounts a milestone year – an emotional and an eventful year which we are very thankful to have survived ‘in one piece’, sustained only by God’s grace and mercies which often came in the form of the encouragement, affirmation and help of family members, friends and yes, the comments of you, our readers.
The year started with our daughter entering Primary 1. That alone is enough to unnerve most parents (we included). It was hard to let go and let her fend for herself in the great, big world…to choose her own friends and make her own decisions. It was a major transition for Dana from daily routines to choice of CCAs, from homework to friendship issues. Suddenly, counting money and queuing for food during recess didn’t seem such a worry as other larger issues took over. There were reprimands meted, mistakes corrected, reconciliations made but she’s all good and ready to take on P2 in a week’s time.
February and March were difficult months for us emotionally. We bade a tearful farewell to Angie’s beloved Grandma (Dana’s Great Grandma) and subsequently our nation’s founding father, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Elders who have held the family and nation together have now passed on and with that, passed the baton to us. We miss them dearly.
Buddy’s adoption process was completed after 8 long months after emails to the Minister of Ministry of Social and Family Development (MFS) who expedited the administrative backlog. We were thrilled as we could finally welcomed our son and Dana’s lifelong best friend and brother – Buddy.
June saw us boldly embarked on our first trip to Japan and we did it DIY style. There, we ‘conquered’ all the 3 major theme parks and I lost 2 kg (a miracle!) from all that running and doing an insane number of rides with the daughter. It was extra memorable because finally, my 7 year-old could take most of the adult roller coasters with me. We had quite a fantastic time bonding over those thrill rides! But Japan is not all adrenaline. It was enchanting. We fell in love with the food, the people and the culture and set our minds to return to the land of the rising sun.
Right after our Japan holiday, we came back to Singapore to celebrate Buddy’s 1st Birthday. Turning One is a milestone, especially since one year ago, we were still only parent of 1. He was a prayer come true and we threw an intimate party for close friends and family to thank them for sharing our ups and downs all these years, from childlessness, child-losses to now, grateful parents of two beautiful kids. We pray we will be anointed to raise them up in the ways of the Lord.
Singapore Blog Award:
After an eventful first half of the year, the 2nd half was relatively calmer. We received the good news that our blog had emerged one of the Top 10 Most Popular Blogs at the Singapore Blog Awards 2015. We are truly humbled and so very grateful to our readers and friends for the affirmation and support.
Bing! Bang ! Boom!
The SG 50 celebrations saw us ‘camping’ at various locations at the Marina Bay area to watch the stunning fireworks displays and we were totally caught up in the euphoria! This included the breath taking aerial displays by the Black Knights!! It was meaningful to celebrate SG50 with our kids and it’s my hope that they will fondly remember the occasion when they celebrate SG100 with their own family. We may not be around to witness it then.
Sunrise and Sunsets:
During the September school holidays, we revisited Phuket after 5 years. The hospitality shown by the staff at Holiday Inn Phuket – both at Patong Beach and at Mai Khao Beach warmed our hearts. We greeted each day with shouts of joy experiencing the gorgeous sunrise and sunsets at the doorstep of our room. We did sunrise Yoga by the beach as a family (a first!) which was unforgettable.
Right towards September, we decided to send Buddy into an infant-care centre – he has started to run, climb, grab, poke, push things etc… We realised he needs a more conducive place where he can roam and discover the world freely and safely. His first 2 weeks in infant-care were tough as we had to conquer separation anxieties. But as I write this post on Christmas Eve, Buddy has gotten so used to his teachers that he actually looks forward to going to ‘school’ daily. We are once again amazed at how adaptable children are.
The Big Move:
Just when the routines were settling in, we moved to a new residence the first weekend of the Nov school holidays. Moving house is one of life’s greatest stressors but thank God, Angie and I managed to unpack most boxes without chewing each other’s heads off. We also got our normalcy back within a fortnight of relentless unpacking and home improvements. We are loving this new estate a lot more with its lush greenery and proximity to the new downtown line MRT.
To end the year on a memorable note, we took up the Christmas-themed photo-shoot offered by Orange Studios.
The Year in a Snap:
We were very impressed with the entrepreneurs behind Orange Studios – an affable husband and wife team, Ryan and Winnie who specialise in Maternity, Newborn, Children and Family Photography. Both Ryan and Wini are very approachable, warm and friendly. Importantly, they were able to put the kids at ease throughout the session. It is not easy photographing young children, especially toddlers of Buddy’s age but they were patient and never in a hurry. Ryan worked his magic, quick as a flash. We were able to get lovely shots of the family for keepsake, all thanks to them!
It was also thoughtful of Orange Studios to extend the photographing experience to include a slideshow presented in HD glory for guests in a comfy room complete with snacks and a couch (we were told this room doubles up as a nursing room for Moms of newborns). This makes the photo-shoot less of just an ‘one-off’ experience but a memorable family event. Splendid!
So with these precious snapshots by Orange Studios, we round up the year. The photos testify of God’s faithfulness and goodness that have pulled us through the eventful year. His love that came during Christmas 2000 years ago reunited men with God, bringing for us redemption, peace and hope, which are readily available to you, me and all.
We would also like to thank you – our readers, fans and fellow parent bloggers for accompanying us in this parenting journey. Here’s wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016.
Gloria, In excelsis Deo (Latin for ‘Glory to God in the Highest’),
David, Angie, Dana and ‘Buddy’.
Note: To know more about Christ and how He can transform your life as He has done for us, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit a local church.
Information on Orange Studios
Orange Studios is a Singapore boutique photography studio specialising in modern portraiture for families who enjoy custom Maternity, Newborn, Family & Pets portraits and a personalised experience. Each and every portraiture session is designed specially for you, catering to your family’s personalities and dynamics, and ensuring the wall art we create for you matches your home interior design and space.
Oxley Bizhub, Blk 73 Ubi Road 1
Tel: 8606 6950