Friends Who Set You Free


I have a few friends, yes, just a few. Some are old, some are new. And I promise, this whole thing won’t rhyme. But it might take some time. Haha, okay I’m done.

I have friends that uplift me and friends whom I uplift. And I love all my friends dearly.  I have friends from all corners of the world. Friends who I see every day and friends who I see once a month on a computer screen. I have friends whom I haven’t seen for nearly four years.

And I have my friends who set me free. These are the friends who laugh with me and laugh at me but never judge me. These are the friends who aren’t afraid to be honest and even less afraid to be true. These are the girls and guys who open up their worlds, their fears, dreams, and embarrassing moments. These are the people who don’t care about making fools of themselves because it’s far more fun that we’re together. Being friends with these people allows me to be myself. I don’t care if I haven’t washed my hair for three days (which happens) or that I embarrassed myself FULLY in front of everyone at work. I can share these stories with them and know that they’ll appreciate the humour and appreciate me. We can be silly and uncool and ridiculously not-trendy. I mean, side ponytail uncool. We can sing, unashamedly, You’re So Vain at the top of our lungs (ok, I never did that but I would have if I wasn’t asleep). We can act like animals and cry at Miley Cyrus movies and have really bad dance parties in the middle of the living room. We can eat junk food and let our food babies stick out without feeling the need to suck them in. We can develop our brains and new thoughts together without judgment. We can talk about books and yell at each other and debate until we’re blue in the face and never once dislike the other person. We become better people around each other. These friends tell me exactly when I’m being an ultra-douche and put up with me until I’m not. They will say YES when they can, and sometimes when they don’t really want to, but will say NO when they need to. They are the wind whipping through my hair and messing it all up and making me lovelier.

These are the righteous few who stand beside me and are forever held within my heart.

They love me. They set me free. 

(photo by Clavell Lee)


Love Your Life


Dude, if I’m honest, I struggle. I can think of a million things I want to be and do. Pressure builds. Watch it, carefully. Write every day and be good at it, but don’t be so distracted by it that you fail at your real job, the job they pay you to do. Do that real job flawlessly, or as close to flawless as possible, because they pay you. And you need that money. Oh and don’t forget to LOVE your real job, otherwise you’re just working for the money and that’s no way to live. And you don’t have to be at church four times a week, but if you really loved Jesus then you’d want to be anyway, so do be at church four times a week. Wife up your life! You’re married now, so be more wifey. Maybe cook sometimes, buy him presents, cut the grass, make him something, redo the budget and stick to it (really, stick to it), make more decisions so he doesn’t have to, LET HIM BE FREE MAN and clean without grumbling. Don’t grumble so much. You grumble A LOT. And look how husbandy your husband is! He’s friggen HUSBAND! Be more like him, only less husband and more wife.


Plan your life better! Write things down, because your memory sucks. And just make plans. Plan your day, plan your week, plan your year. Make a plan to have a house in 5 years. Yup, FIVE. Because in five years you’ll be 29. TWENY-NINE. That’s almost 30. And Husband will be 30. And that’s OLD. You’ll need to have kids by then. Are you prepared to have kids by then? Do you have a plan for them? Will your house fit those kids? Make a plan. And make sure that plan allows Husband to study and play guitar and read books. A lot of books. Like, a million books. Buy him those books.


Also, while you’re at it, just look hot. Wear nicer clothes, have nicer hair (deal with that cow lick), be skinnier. EXERCISE! Jillian Michaels got ripped in 30 and you can too! It doesn’t matter that your balance sucks, just try harder! Eat healthy food and LOVE the healthy food. Yummy, carrot sticks and quinoa. And don’t forget to pronounce quinoa right so that when you’re telling your friends how much you love quinoa, they’ll believe you.


They don’t believe me. Why? Because I love cheeseburgers and fries and Coke. And you know what else? I don’t have a plan and I forget to write every day because my real job tires me out sometimes. And I don’t LOVE it or do it flawlessly. Sometimes, I actually hate it and put all my effort into NOT doing my job but looking like I’m doing my job. And I grumble when I clean. And I can’t cook, nor do I want to. I SUCK at Jillian Michaels. She’s just so tough!


Sometimes I need to slap myself in the face and take a look around. Husband is awesome. I love my friends. Cheeseburgers are TASTY and it’s okay to eat them! Plan what you can, but let life happen. Love your life!


I love my life, I really do. 

And I love cheeseburgers!


NOTE: these are pressures I put on myself, not anything someone else puts on me. My husband is THE BEST. I actually do love Jesus and church and our leaders are 100% supportive and awesome and understand when I’m swamped. They rock. And quinoa is pretty tasty when you cook it right, but I don’t know how to pronounce it. 

(photo by Christina Bourne)


saturday, you stole my heart.


I love Saturday. Saturday means a little sleep in, FaceTime with my family, a breakfast date with my husband, maybe a bit of shopping ;), a new book on my Kindle, a fresh, reset house, a spot of lunch, hours and hours of reading in the sun (when Sydney’s skies allow it), a pot of tea served with my finest china, a bit more reading, friends for dinner and a splash of wine, colourful conversation and curling up for a movie.

Ah, Saturday, you beautiful day.


(photo by Christina Bourne)

on writing


I stand on the shore, barefoot and alone. The ocean of fear sends its waves crashing at my feet, a warning. I cannot see a destination, only the endless, raging blue of the unknown. After much hesitation and second guessing, I step forward and wet my toes. It’s cold, threatening. What if my endurance fails me? I’d hate to take a risk this big, only to drown, alone, with no land in sight. Against my good sense, I plunge in, first running, then swimming, leaving caution, like my safety, on the shore.

(photo by Christina Bourne)

happy birthday, baby bro.


This week my little brother turned 22. Taylor Swift references aside, I think this will be the best year of his life. We’ve had the best opportunity to live in the same country for 8 months this year, and my heart is full. Excuse me while I list all of the FUN things we got to do… and you can be jealous that you’re not best friends with your brother 😉

1. Staying up late watching the OC
2. Working out (this wasn’t fun for me)
3. Playing Tetris while listening to hardcore music
4. Watching Pitch Perfect 700 times
5. Having tea parties (he drank coke out of my teacups)
6. Harry Potter marathons
7. Teaching him how to drive on the other side of the road
8. Cooking steak
9. Taste of Malaya
10. Making fun of Allan
11. Taylor Swift sing-a-longs

I miss you and I wish you were here to watch Sharknado with me and eat Krispy Kremes. Happy birthday Nolan.


the performance review.


Every three or so months I wake up on a Saturday morning, crawl out of bed and stare blankly at my closet. 

“I have nothing to wear.” 

Truthfully, I don’t have NOTHING to wear, I have several options, just none that appeal to me. On these mornings, I know the time has come to conduct my quarterly performance review. It’s a simple process, really. Every single article of clothing is given the opportunity for a one-on-one appointment with me to discuss their contribution to my wardrobe. Some pass with flying colours, as is natural in any organization. For others, the meeting is really more of a formality and concludes with a ready prepared termination speech. But still others require more consideration. For these articles, I enlist the help of Mr. Isaac Soon, the head of my finance department. Together, we divide up the remaining articles into similar pairs and discuss why their performance hasn’t been satisfactory of late. On rare occasions, both are given equal opportunity to improve and welcomed back to the team. More frequently, however, the blouses are pitted against each other and one has to fold itself up and find a new home. 

We do, of course, pride ourselves on our generosity towards our staff. We would rarely cut someone loose and chuck them straight into the bin. I am very firm on this point, as I believe it important to uphold the integrity of our organization, especially during such a sensitive time as termination. I do my best to line up alternative employment through my friends who have different wardrobe requirements during this particular season. Or, more often, I refer them to a recruitment agency (Salvos or Vinnies, usually) who will put them on a rack and advertise them at a low cost to those with vacant positions available. No, I will never let my former employees go to waste if I can avoid it. 

Well, it is that time of year, yet again. Good luck to all employees, and may the best dress win.


happy birthday, amy leigh.


This is one of my favourite photos in the whole world. It is unique, because it might be the only photo of my family taken while we are all in our twenties and the only picture taken where we all look good.

Today, my little-big sister turns 26. In her twenty-six years of life, she has accomplished many different things. Firstly, she set the world record for the most times a single person has sung, “Colours of the Wind” from Pocahontas. Secondly, she successfully performed a rare and complex piece of magic where one hand, resting on a table, magically floats in the air after muttering the proper incantation. I believe her words during the event were, “I don’t know what’s happening! I swear I’m not moving it!” And lastly, but most definitely not least, she has consumed more mashed potatoes than all three of my brothers combined. Yes, she is a role model to us all!

I’m just kidding. Well, I’m not, because all of those things are true. But she has accomplished a lot more than that. She is the mother of two beautiful little children and she hasn’t strangled her husband (yet). She sacrifices daily for her family and for the people closest to her. She is kind, genuine and always loving. We fought SO MUCH as kids, I’m surprised we don’t hate each other. But we don’t. We’re BFFs. She sets an example that I would be a fool not to follow.

I love her and miss her, from the other side of the world.


(photo: tommy mcnamara)