Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Hallmark Moment

I confess:  I'm a card collector. I love all things stationary; notepads, ink pens, diaries, stickers etc,. You'll have to drag me out of the Hallmark store as I have a serious lingering problem in the colorful card isles that I slowly pace through, reading every written thought on beautifully designed paper made to entice you. I love the feel of a card that can say so much when you hold it in your hands, knowing that the sender has chosen it with caring thoughts to be delivered straight to the recipient's heart.

I love everything beautiful. Back in elementary school in Holland, my friend and classmate used to call me an 'ekster', which is Dutch for 'magpie' - the bird that likes to collect shiny things. My fascination for pretty things that were designed artistically would only grow stronger over the years. Call it romantic or artistic, but the feeling that comes with words on paper, takes my imagination back to an era where feathered ink pens and old, ruffled paper were the primary form of communication for relaying thoughts in a very 'Jane Austen-ish' way. 

My trip to Hallmark today resulted in a basket full of gift wrap and cards for different occasions to stock up on my collection or perhaps my appetite...? As I walked pass the various categories, listening to joyful Christmas music in the background, my eyes fixated on the perfect card. Why perfect you ask? Well, it fulfilled my current craving; the feeling of togetherness and bliss.

I opened the card and smiled. Oh, Hallmark, why must you say the words straight out of my heart? 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Festive Moods

It feels warm and cozy this time of the year when everyone gathers together with their loved ones and shares stories of the passing year. In Houston, the weather is not as winter wonderland-ish as you'd hope, but the atmosphere is certainly there. I see houses lit up for the holiday spirit and it brings a smile to my face. How beautiful the streets look and how magical the trees are dressed, draped in twinkling lights as if they've come alive. I drive through the old street of a neighborhood, the kind of which carries this old-vintage feeling of aristocratic brick houses and double door entrances. Snowfall is missing and it may be missing for the entire winter season. Last year I remember, we had just a little bit snowfall and the excitement of seeing snow was shown in everyone's faces. People went outside to throw snowballs at each other, co-workers took a break in the snow whilst gathered laughing and reminiscing, moms & dads dug up slays and rides from the garage for their kids to slide on, lovers walked the paths of temporary 'wonderland' and homeowners like us, grieved the death of our plants and vegetables. ( O Thee tomatoes! )

The 'wonderment' around us may be fictional but it has become a necessity for survival in the current situation we have found ourselves in. The recession has left us in deep troubles - whether it is the unemployment rate or the failures of Health Care, we cannot fool ourselves anymore. The Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, New York City will lit up like every year and so will the faces of many who are 'able' to enjoy, but those struggling, who can not afford or possibly be happy are the ones to face reality everyday. A Christmas tree or the jam packed discounted stores will not pay their bills. And if you are planning on purchasing items on your credit card and adding to your endless debt, please think again. Do yourself a favor; Do Not Buy!

If the holidays are ripping you off, because of the pressured feeling of "buying" then you must rethink and re-evaluate the true spirits of any festivity. I am sure hundreds and hundreds of  years ago, people who'd celebrate, did not rush off to the Malls to eventually elbow each other for that cashmere sweater or aggressively snag that one parking spot. 

Live people. Live to see and enjoy. Do not fall for materialism. It all comes and goes...
We take, we digest and we waste; the never-ending cycle.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Since my last post, I have given birth to our precious little baby girl Mehreen on Friday, October 22nd at 2:43 PM in the afternoon. Not only was the (delivery) experience absolutely surreal, but I was also lucky to have had the positive and loving support around me from the hospital staff, the doctor and especially my husband. My angel was born and put onto my lap almost immediately. Our eyes met for the first time; we looked at each other and I cried out of joy. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. There she was. Our beautiful little girl...

Now, 6 weeks into Motherhood, I have snapped out of my 'surreality' and stepped into my 'reality' the moment I started nursing my baby. At the hospital, they really emphasize on breastfeeding which was absolutely fine with me as I was planning on doing so. But little did I know, that nursing would be so tiresome, especially since I'd just given birth! My baby was fed every two hours, 24/7. I would force myself to sit up right on the hospital bed and feed her. Of course most of it happened out of maternal instincts and the overwhelming desire to care for my baby - but the nurses at the hospital did push me a lot - perhaps in a good way. (?)

Luckily, my mom and sister arrived the same day she was born and after spending two nights at the hospital (which felt like a lifetime) I was finally going home with my sweet bundle of joy. Oh, how happy I was to arrive home - my home! My mom and sister immediately took over and I felt a sense of relief. At the hospital, my husband was amazing in taking care of everything. He would never flinch from his spousal & fatherly duties and would act right away. When I needed something, he'd be there like Superman and now that I think of it, I could've never done it without him. I realize how important it is to have a strong bond with your (life) partner since it all boils down to teamwork in life. Having a baby DOES change everything, but it changes for the better when you have the right, loving support by your side. My career in Motherhood is by far the most exhilarating, exhausting, rewarding and the most beautiful full-time job I've ever had. Being a stylist at a department store or earning the big bucks in Real Estate or trying to generate clients as a Marketing Exec. at a Financial Planning Firm, does not compare to this God given, priceless gift of 'offspring'.

In two weeks, Mehreen will be 2 months old. Time flies they say and it surely does! I feel in cloud nine, even though I am always sleep deprived; feeling like a zombie, going about my 'mommy chores' when daddy goes to work - but overall, we are incredibly blessed ("Mashallah/Knock on wood") and every day I look at her, kiss her tiny little toes and fingers, sing to her like an on-stage 'Glee' performance...and you know...she looks back at me, coos at me and probably thinks to herself; "MAMMA has gone CRAZY!"

Oh yes my dear, crazy for you...