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Showing posts from 2011

Migrating to Wordpress.

Since I can't open blogger easily here in Beijing any more, I have decided to move Journey of Happiness to a new platform:

http://sherlyzhang.wordpress.com

You are welcome to visit there any time :) See you there!

6 more days....

To Beijing, China.
Why do time fly so fast when we are having fun? I can't believe it already comes to the last week of our holiday at my home... One month is truly NOT enough! :(
Sunday afternoon will come so soon for us to leave Bali on the way to Beijing. I still am NOT excited. I really don't know what to expect... Maybe I'll just close my eyes and have faith that God knows what's ahead of us... Maybe.

Please pray that things go well for us starting a new chapter there, in Beijing.

Anyway, this evening, we went to Airport to send my beloved best friend and sister, Yulia, off to go back to Jakarta. She came since last Wednesday, for 5 days. Too bad I was sick, so we didn't get to go around Bali as planned. However, we had a great time at Tanjung Benoa; me taking photos and Lan and her playing jetskis, banana boats and parasailing. We also played UNO together, the four of us (Lan, Grace, she and I), and had way too much laughter!
I'm so glad she came. I reall…

The latest news!

We are back from being in Surabaya for a week. It's just nice to just be at home again, except that I am sick. Headache, runny and blocky nose, as well as fever. Ugh... I am feeling horrible right now.

We were super busy in Surabaya. Meeting people here and there. The most important, however, was to renew my passport and apply for the Chinese visa. So now I got my new passport and Chinese visa. One thing that was so complicated is how to legalised our Indonesian marriage certificate. :( We had to send things to Jakarta (Departemen Hukum dan HAM + Departemen Luar Negeri) to get their approval stamps, etc. Super complicated! Until now, it's still not finished yet... I hope it's finished real soon, so that we can have stress-free holiday!

How are you all doing? I hope I find you all well.

Anyway, headache is killing my head, so I better lay down for now.

xoxo

Tired but home.

After a trip seemed to be forever and so tiring, we are finally back home. We slept more than 12 hours since last night and woke up around 1pm today!
It's our first time seeing my parents' house since the renovation, looking nicer and spacious. Lan has been forever teasing Grace, our little sister and having a grand time giggling and playing with her. Another good news is that Internet is way faster now! We even have wireless! *woohoo* ;)

Anyway, that's all for now. See you tomorrow.

xoxo

in Singapore

We are here, using free Internet access in Singapore Changi Airport. We're so tired and sleep deprived, no matter how much sleep we had in the plane.

My monthly guest also decided that it's the 'perfect' time to visit me, so, from waist down, my body is triple-wreck!

We arrived in Singapore at 6.40am, and our flight to Bali is not until 3pm something, so we have lots of time to kill! Probably will be walking around, especially after so much sitting down we did!

I was secretly sobbing on the plane, while Lan was fast asleep. I was sad leaving Liverpool and heading to the unknown... At the same time, I prayed that The Lord guides our little family all the way, wherever we have to be.

xoxo

The closing of this chapter

In less than 24 hours, Lan and I will be leaving UK for good. This morning when I was awake on the bed, thinking about how many more hours we have until tomorrow's flight, my heart was thumping like crazy. This IS probably the last post I'd typed in Liverpool.

I have lived here in Liverpool for almost 10 years (in September it would be 10 years). I've grown comfortable here and gotten quite used to everything here. I studied all my 10 years here, met my husband-to-be here, spent our 4 years of marriage here in a student life.
Right now, I am more terrified than excited about the future. Tomorrow at 9.10 am we will fly out of Manchester heading to Bali. We'll arrive on 30th and stay there until 28th August, before flying again to Beijing. Yes, we are settling down in Beijing this time. Not sure for how long, but it might not be permanent. Definitely some years there. :) I am terrified of the unknown that is embracing me in Beijing... I don't speak Mandarin and I am …

Paris, I'm in LOVE!

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We had a great great time in Paris for 5 days. I would say it was NOT enough... I wanted to stay longer, but maybe it's the sign we should return there soon :)
We spent the first 2 days in Disneyland, made me feel like a little child going into a fantasy land! Then the third day we went to Eiffel tower and Arc de Triomphe. Fourth day was spent at Notre Dame, Musee de Louvre and Champ de Elysees. Fifth day, we went to Chateau de Versailles before heading back to Liverpool. Those 5 days were spent with lots and lots of queuing, burning feet, tiredness, good food, happiness and fun!

Now we're back to the reality that we have only a few days here for packing, cleaning up and all the other stuffs to do before flying out from Manchester for the one last time to Bali and then to Beijing.
I will keep those sweet memories of Paris in my head for now, maybe once we're settled I might write them down in this blog. :)

See you soon!!

In a few hours we are off to Paris for our 5 days of VERY belated honeymoon!!! *woohoo*
I am excited and feeling so surreal... we finally got to go this time after a fail attempt back in 2008! I'm praying for good weather and awesome holiday! I am just so so thankful for this opportunity!

Praise The Lord! He is good all the time, no matter what. :)

See you when we come back.

Congratulations, my dear hubby!

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I am so proud of you, my dear! I was overflowing with pride seeing you in that red robe, walking across the stage to get your certificate! It was a longggg day, yesterday, and we were both so tired afterwards... It started with heavy rain until afternoon, but I think God heard our prayers and it stopped. :)

What an unforgettable day! Congratulations on getting 'Doctor of Philosophy'!
You know that to me, you're still my dear hubby, no matter what's your title.
I love you!

Exciting times await!

Yay!!! I cannot wait for Monday to come! It's Lan's graduation day and he will officially be a Dr. that day :) I am so proud of him! It's going to be a busy day; the graduation ceremony is at 3pm, followed by a short reception afterwards held by the department, and we are invited to a farewell party made for us by Daniel, Karolina and Michel (the colleguaes in the department). (I'm not quite sure who else is coming...)
Tuesday will be the final packing day before we leave for Paris on Wednesday!!! *weeee!* I really cannot wait!

Here is hoping that the weather will be warm, sunny and most importantly DRY on Monday and that our honeymoon is really enjoyable :)

Alrighty... I hope you are all having a great weekend and will have a blessed week ahead :)

So many things to do!

Looking at our plan on our last few weeks here, boy, do we have lots of things to do and lots of people to meet! In a way, it's a realisation that we actually have lots of friends here in Liverpool :)

With a week to Lan's graduation, I've made sure that his shirt is ironed and ready to wear. However, we're kind of anxious that the graduation ticket hasn't arrived on the mail yet. I hope it arrives in the next few days, otherwise, I won't be able to get in to Philharmonic Hall, where the graduation ceremony is held.

Nine days to Paris. I am excited as well as dragging it hehehe... I haven't really packed our things yet. I'm just too tired after doing a lot of packing, sorting and throwing stuffs away.
Our home is looking bare right now, doesn't feel as homey as it used to. All the photos on the wall are gone and a lot of stuffs have either been shipped to Beijing or given away to charity shops. We only have the necessary stuffs left. Even so, it stil…

Before I forget.

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Today, I am writing about our anniversary celebration, before I forget all the details about it. We ended up having lunch at home, because we had a sleep-in and both woke up quite late. All the packing and tidying things up must be really tiring us down, not to mention it's been a nice hot week! It's nice outside, where you can feel the cool breeze, in our flat, not so much. It becomes really hot in our flat, because the window can only open very little (even that we have to wedge it with 2 thick shopping catalogue books!).

So, we finally ventured out around 4pm. First destination was this new Pattiserie Valerie that we saw at Met Quarter (a shopping centre). They are specialised in cakes and desserts as well as serving some hot food and salad. We went there for the desserts. There were so many choices, but we ended up with 3: Black Forest Cake, Double Chocolate Cake and a Whoopy Pie. Iced lemon tea for the drinks.
Mmm... Those cakes were heavenly! Sweet but not too sweet! Jus…

Happy 4th Anniversary, Honey!

It's amazing fast we've got to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary today! Time just flies unbelievably fast!!!
And no matter how fast it's gone, It's been great! Saying 'yes' to Lan was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. He's the better man than I've ever wanted from a husband. He is kind and understanding beyond my expectation, supportive at all times.
Inevitably, we had our clashing moments, but each and every one of them built us up stronger rather than tore us down. I praise the Lord for that.

I am forever grateful to The Lord for Lan, for this marriage, for His plan in our life.

Happy anniversary, Tun! ;)

And happy birthday, my dear beloved sister, Yulie!!! I love you and I can't wait to see you soon at home. :)

Almost 4 years.

In 3 days, Lan and I will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary! WOW! 4th year already! I am ecstatic! I am all the more excited in spending all the years to come with him... Over the years, our relationship gets easier. We understand each other better, compromise easier and we definitely are involved in a lot LESS and a lot SHORTER fights. It does take time to adjust from single life into a marriage life, indeed, but it definitly is better when both parties are willing to live the adjustments. And I am glad that we both are willing.

We plan to just celebrate it with a simple dinner, because we're going to Paris in 3 weeks! YAY!
Lan has got his Schengen visa yesterday (a very much shorter time to kill compared to mine!), we've bought our disneyland tickets today and we've planned our time there already. Suitcase is half-packed. I just can't wait!!! *wheeee!*

In the mean time, we're packing and sending stuffs to Beijing like crazy!

ONE month left!

I can't believe we only have ONE month left before we leave UK for good... I have mixed feelings about this; excited, scared, happy, and sad. It feels like Lan and I are closing this chapter of life and are opening a new and unknown chapter of the future!

There are still a LOT of things to be taken care of. Packing and sending stuffs, sorting unnecessary things to be donated, Lan's graduation on the 18th July, our trip to Paris on the 20th and my PhD withdrawal. The last one is the toughest one for me. I am having a hard time to finally make the decision. I mean... I've made it and I am ready to withdraw, but to finally fill the withdrawal form and to be obliged to write a detailed reason, it's difficult to do, especially when I feel guilty for 'suspecting' that I will disappoint my supervisors. Even knowing that this decision is RIGHT for me, does not make it any easier.

I guess, I have to do what I have to do, right?

July is going to be a crazy busy month for…

Cheshire Oaks

Today, for the first time since March, I drove again! Lan and I rented a car (we got a Ford Focus) and (I) drove to the McArthur Glen Factory Outlet in Cheshire Oaks.

First time driving without instructor (since having the UK license).
First time driving 70mph on the motorway.

Boy I was NERVOUS!!!!
We used the free Ovi map on my Nokia phone (Thanks, Mich, for this ;))
I missed a few turns, went on the wrong exit on a roundabout, but we eventually got there safely (and back!)

It wasn't an enjoyable drive yet for me. I was trying real hard to make sure I drove properly. But overall, we had fun! Lan shopped lots more than I did. He got a nice pair of Timberland boots, a suit and a few other things :)
It was nice to not have to carry our things around, we could just put them in the car booth and start walking again!!

Ps. Thanks, honey, for believing in my ability :)

Yes, I am happy!

I have never felt so complete like this before. I think, through the visa incident, Lan and I both realised that we love each other more than we think we do and more than ourselves. It's a great wake-up call. :)
We are closer than ever and understand each other more than 7 weeks ago.

I am so happy, but, gosh, I am so EXHAUSTED!!!! I think all the exhaustion that I tried to keep down during the 7 weeks has finally come up on the surface and affecting my body. I'm sleepy all the time.

However, overall, I am still so grateful! Grateful that prayers work, that faith proves that miracles still exist, that *most importantly* God still listens to each and every prayer we say.

And as Lan said, "God works in a mysterious way!"

Have a great week ahead, friends :)

Just a short one ;)

He is home.
I am happy.
He is tired and jetlagged.
I am getting more insane-less.

We're together again!
Thank you, God! :)

Have a lovely weekend, people!

And he's coming home!!

I slept less than 3 hours last night, in fact, I only fell asleep this morning at 6am, only to wake up at 8.30am. So I am all tired and my eyes feel like they are swollen, but I FEEL GOOD! I am HAPPY!

Got the news that Lan's got his visa at 02.51am.
Even better, got the news at 04.24am that he's got a seat on the flight middle of tonight AND will be arriving in Manchester Airport tomorrow (Thursday) at 19.15!

Woohoo!

All I can say to you, Jesus, is...
Thank YOU!
I've said it hundreds of times and I will keep saying it for the rest of my life.
Thank you for the prayers and support, friends (& family)! You all have helped me knock the Heaven's door. :)

Happiness overdue!

I am still in the 'surreal' phase right now, but I would love love love to share a good news that we have all been waiting for!

Got a news that the UK Embassy has finally finished processing Lan's visa and it's now back to the agency. Lan tried to pick it up today, but because he got the news so late, by the time he got to the agency, it was already closed. So, tomorrow morning, he will go there to pick it up.

Thank you, Jesus, for answering our prayers!
Thank you, everyone, for praying for us earnestly!


We will find out tomorrow whether or not he gets the visa and whether it's already valid. If so, he will try to get on the flight back to Liverpool tomorrow night and hoping to arrive on Thursday afternoon or night!

I was so happy that I was crying when I heard the news! I'll post about the visa tomorrow. :)

Again, thank you, Jesus!

Llangollen - 11 June 2011

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As Lan was not back yet last week, my adventure on the Saturday with Michel begun again. This time, we went to Llangollen, which nestles within the beautiful Dee Valley in the North East of Wales. It took less time to drive there than Llandudno (the place we went the week before). As before, we went to ASDA first to buy some lunch to be eaten when we get to Llangollen.
To me, Llangollen is a cute little town. It has little shops, varying from craft shops, bakery, pastry shop, ice cream parlor, butchers and traditional English tea rooms that look intriguing! It gave the same feeling as when Lan and I went to York last year, which I never got around to write on the blog. :( It's the feeling of what British towns should be.
So, we, firstly, explored the town, which is not very big, and paid a visit to the tourist information there to grab some leaflets of the local attractions. It rained hard for awhile, but, praise The Lord, it stopped and from then on, the weather improved and the s…

The power of prayers

There's still nothing new on Lan's visa process. I could hear Lan's frustration today when I talked to him on the phone. He's getting really tired of everyone in the family asking how the visa is. He just wants to be home with his family, his own little family, he and I. That's one sweet saying of his today :)
I feel as if we are both just going through the cycle of up and down, when I'm down, he's up and encouraging me, when he's down, I'm up and encouraging him. I wonder how long this going to last, because, I know, both of us are getting really weary.

However, I'll keep praying, he'll keep praying and I am so very much thankful there are so many people who are praying for us; My parents, Daddy Arifin, Daddy Phillip, Helen & Gary, Alex, Louise, Georgia, Aunt Audrey & Fam, and many more...
Yes, I admit that this is so hard to go through and, yes, I'm kind of skeptical at this point, but, I still believe my Father in Heaven hears…

Llandudno - 04 June 2011

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This is a long due post since last week, so since I am feeling a bit happy, I thought it's time to post the adventure I had with Michel last Saturday. :)
It was such a beautiful sunny day last Saturday! The perfect Summer day here in the UK, such a rare day, if you know how uncertain the weather here. So, we went on our 4th week day-adventure. We went to Llandudno, a beautiful seaside resort in North Wales. It has a nice bay, pier and summit.

When we got there, we went to ASDA (a supermarket) first for toilet and lunch. We figured, it would be cheaper that way. So, after we got our lunch sorted, we went to find a parking spot, which was quite hard, since there were so many people going there! We're lucky that one lady actually went out and we got her spot. We walked to the bay and had our lunch first, while making sure there were no seagulls coming near to steal our food. :p
Afterwards, we walked along the bay and the pier. The wind was acceptable and the view was so breathtak…

Is this the sign?

The sign that it's a turning point now? Or the sign that things are looking up from now on? I'd love to say I hope so, but we never know, right?

I got a text message from TLScontact on Tuesday, in the middle of my counselling session, that they got my passports back from the French consulate and they were sending it back that day and I'm supposed to expect the parcel to come on Wednesday (yesterday). I stayed the whole day, knowing that the courier will come between 9am - 5pm. I was kind of worried the thing that happened a few weeks ago would repeat. It was 5pm and, YEP, they did NOT come! I was furious.
I sent them a complaint e-mail, saying that they are totally unreliable and unprofessional! Seriously... I feel like I never had a good experience using this courier, but I have no choice, because this is the chosen courier used by the French consulate. I got no reply, I tried ringing them, but it was just a waste of time and money since I was kept on the 'queue' …

This is getting harder.

Lan's still not here yet and I am emotionally a wreck. It gets harder each passing day. The one thing that I desperately want to hear and have been waiting for what seems ages, that the visa is out and he's heading back to me, I don't know what I'll hear that.

I managed last week with shedding no tears, but that probably was wrong, because this week it feels as if my flood gate is broken and I keep crying like crazy until my eyes are super sore. It gets to the point, where I have no words to describe the pain, the hurt, the emotion inside, could tears speak louder than words? Maybe.

I know that this is NOT Lan's fault. That if he could choose, he wants nothing of this happened and he would come back as planned. However, it's so hard not to have a scapegoat. It's so hard not to see this as his fault, that he put me through all this...

I am so sorry, honey, that I blamed you. I know you're suffering, too, but, when you said you know how I feel, I honestly …

Supposedly

By now you should be here.
This home should not be so empty any more.
Our bed should not be half empty, without you, any more.

You're supposed to be back here by my side by now.

But I woke up to an empty dream.
That I am still alone and I did not go to the airport to pick you up like I planned it to be.

I am fine *not really* and accepting, but reality can be so cold sometime.
It's a nice sunny *perfect* day, too, but it's not so perfect any more. Without you.

And June greets me with...

ABROKEN LAPTOP!!!! *sigh*
Oh my dear laptop, why oh why? Last night it threw a fit on me!
I think the graphic card is physically broken :( The resolution goes to the lowest and everything on display is wonky and out of place and colors...

I tried fixing it using the settings, etc. It's not fixing it. It seems to not recognised the NVidia graphic card installed :(

Is all that I am going through right now not enough?!

Lan's still not back and I don't know when he's coming back now... On top of that he's sick.

Oh, Jesus... I surrender all.

I choose to praise You.

The clock is ticking and there's still no sign that the visa is going to come out soon. Tomorrow... the last chance to see whether Lan can get aboard to the flight back here on-time. I am still hoping and wishing for a miracle.

I am better now. I am more accepting and not going crazier than I was. Instead, I am calmer. Unfortunately, it's not so for Lan. Today, when I called him, he sounded ill and discouraged. There was a huge amount of sadness in his voice. I just hope he won't be sick. I told him to hang in there. There must be a purpose for all of this. God knows what He is doing.

In time like this, when things seem so impossible and dire, when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have two choices; be miserable and blame God or be strong and keep praising God. I chose the later. It's hard, painful and seems to be out of my senses, but I chose to keep trusting Him.

I chose to accept, it may not be this Thursday, but God will bring Lan back to me in …

Losing my mind.

I walked around town like an unconscious living zombie today, after church, with Michel. I cried myself to sleep last night around 2AM. I am trying, really trying to hold it together, but I think things will soon just go down the hill. I came to a realisation that tomorrow aka Monday is a bank holiday! That means that the embassy is NOT going to be open, hence, there won't be any update on Lan's visa on Monday! ACK!

I am losing it. My mind. My sanity. My brain altogether.
I am aching all over. My heart. My body. My bones.

Whatever. I might just go on a roller-coaster ride and scream on the top of my lung or something. Ugh, I'm just jabbering, aren't I? No matter what, Sherly, remember this:
Keep calm and cling to God.
If you cannot.
Be crazy and, still, cling to God.

- nie, 29th May 2011 @ 11.52PM

other things + Darwen Tower Walks

It's 10.23 PM here and I am so tired physically and mentally. I can't wait for the month of May to be over already... I don't know... It's just been such an awfully long month with all the things that could go wrong went wrong as well as being without Lan here. I am exhausted and who knows how long exactly I can handle all these any more. I feel like I'm pushing myself out of my limit already... Let's hope things are better next month.

I talked to Lan today... His visa is still not out yet. A few more days to his planned return and I am SUPPOSED to be happy and excited! Yet, right now, it's just worry that I am trying to cover up. I am putting on a strong and brave act, telling Lan that it will all be OK, that his visa WILL be out on Monday. I am putting my belief in the faith that 'in the most dire time, God is the closest to us', that 'when we both are completely giving up and have no more options to do anything, He acts and shows His grace an…

Knocking on the Heaven's door again...

As I count down the days Lan coming back to Liverpool, into my arms, I once more am knocking on the Heaven's door for urgency... I am praying praying and praying that The Lord's hands are upon Lan's UK Visa application, which is NOT out yet. A week to go and there is still NO sign whatsoever that they will grant the visa.
Both Lan and I are anxious and worried, but we try our hardest to build each other's faith and keep on praying that it will come on HIS time. It's some kind of a crazy adventure, I must say... to keep us on the alert all the time, to move us both forward in our faith in Jesus.

We are MORE than conquerors in Jesus Christ.
So here I am... knocking on the Heaven's door again and again for Lan's visa and for my French visa. I know God is more than able. He will bring my husband back into my arms on-time.

Wirral Country Park

Yesterday, Michel and I went to Wirral Country Park for a long walk. When I said a long walk, it was really a long walk... we walked at least 6km yesterday for more than 1 hour or so. The view was overlooking Wales on the other side of the water, it was beautiful. However, it was challenging for me! We had to do some rock climbing and walking on a piece of wood to avoid the mud. For him it was such an easy task, for me?! Gosh, did I not have a hard time!
And about half way, (the time we were walking on the direction to go back to the car park) I had the urge for toilet. Oh dear... and there was no public toilet for the next 3 km! Michel did tempted me to just pee on the bush, ha! No way! If it was Lan, I might've said yes, but no, it wasn't Lan hahaha...

So, we walked, FAST! That was almost an hour wait, only to find out that the visitor centre is CLOSED (as well as the toilet)!! Crap! Luckily, Michel has and drives a car. He took me to ASDA (a big supermarket), which was 5km …

I hope it's 2nd time lucky!

After being so relieved getting back my passports, the next time I have to send it back again... *sigh* I am nervous about the same incident happening again, but I just have to have faith that God will take care of it.

I've fixed the serious error. They said my photo is too old, really?! How could you tell? And that was one of the latest passport photos I've done too. It really is expensive to take passport photos here. I had to do it on a photo booth, which is incredibly loud and ripping money out of you literally! It costs me GBP5.00 for 5 passport photos, really? GBP1.00 each photo, really? They probably get about 300% profit out of it! *sigh*
I redid the application form so that the date would be up to date and put them all in the order they asked me to (after they messed it up previously!). And I sent it on the Royal Mail Special Delivery yesterday, which guarantees it arrived today before 1PM. It only costed me GBP5.90! So much better service than the GBP8.00 Express Mai…

Hey, miracles do happen!!!

I, for one, believe in miracles that God makes every.single.day! So, here is the story about my passports.

I sent it to TLSContact, the agent that deals with French Schengen visa application on 26th April 2011. I heard nothing from them until last Monday, 09th May 2011, telling me there is a serious error on my application and that they are sending my documents back via the courier that they trust.

I waited.waited.waited. They said it's an express mail service, but I got nothing until TODAY! Yesterday, I was losing my mind... it's been a WEEK, express could NOT be longer than a week, right?! So I rang TLSContact, because I can't access my application account over the Internet any more, it's been disabled (hence, I can't look for my tracking number). TLSContact told me to ring DX courier by myself and check it with them. *Grrrr...*
I rang the courier, but could not get to talk an operator, because I need a tracking number to do that :( At the end, I filled in a cont…

I am going insane.

I pray "Lord, wherever they (the courier) lost my passport(s) and documents, may they find them in your time. And give me the strength and the sanity while that's going on... because really, I am going insane bit by bit. Thank you, Jesus."

Friendships

One thing that I am able to do while being alone without Lan here is developing friendship. I get more time to meet people, friends, and spend time with them, get to know them better. With us being a 'student' couple, we rarely have the energy and the time for socialising. Now that I am under suspension, I have more time in my hands that *sometimes* I don't know what to do with it... Mostly, I'd stay at home with Lan or go out with him.

However, while he's not here, I get to see friends. Have lunch with some girlfriends from church during weekday without being worried 'what about Lan?'. I get to talk to them and ask advice, since they are mostly already married and have kids. :)
Another, I got to go on a day out with a colleague, which is nice. We get to talk casually, about a girl that he likes, our families, some jokes. It's very nice of him to offer a day out like that and he drives really nicely!

Well, I may be lonely and missing Lan badly, but I am…

Why do viral infections exist?

Just got back from the doctor to check on my sore throat as well as the fatigue that I have been feeling lately. After an hour wait, it turned out to be a viral infection... Nothing she could do about it, just rest, lots of water and paracetamol. On top of that, it can last up to a week.

Grrr... I hate that.

We also checked on the nauseas and the fatigue. Nope. Pregnancy test turned out to be negative. She said it's possible those are the symptoms for the viral infection, but when the infection is gone and the symptoms are still there, I'm supposed to go back. *sigh...* Do I really have to be sick while Lan's away?

I just hope it goes away soon.

I am getting used to being alone a bit better now. Phone calls are more enjoyable and no-tears involved. We don't do Skype because apparently the Internet at his parents' home is not that good. Certainly not as good as here in UK, Lan said. Oh dear... I just hope when we rent/get our own place, we'll get a better Intern…

It'll Never Be The Same.

And... 24 days to go.
You know when Lan left, I thought it'll be just the same like the time when I used to be alone, before we got married. Now after almost 2 weeks, I find that it's not the same and will never be the same. Going out with the single friends from church, I felt old. Out of place. It's just different. I can't really say what, but I was feeling misplaced most of the time. I still go, anyway, just to kill time, just so that I won't be at home alone feeling mellow...

I am determined to fill these lonely times by developing new friendships with a few people from church. It's just nice to speak with a few ladies, who are married and can be like a big sister or, even, a mother to me... It's nice, especially when most of the time I used to be working surrounded by guys in the University. :)

Overall, I am OK. Well, in a way. Lately I feel more tired than usual and don't have any appetite, kind of sick of food smell really. Should I go to a docto…

More than I can say

I terribly miss my man. It's barely a week since Lan is gone. I thought I was coping well, but each time we talk on the phone every day, it always ends with some tears on my eyes... I miss him too much to be said.

Home is not the same without him. It feels emptier here, too spacey and too quiet... Home is not the place, it's the people you share it with. For my case, it's you my dear hubbie.

Yesterday and today, I've been having some tummy problem. Diarrhoea and uncomfortable feeling all day round, ugh... Today it's worse and accompanied by some vomiting feeling. I just hope it passed quickly. I just make sure that I drink a lot of water.

I have mostly just been scrapping and playing games all day hehehe... Just to pass the time. Even worse after I found out there is a new version of Angry Birds! Rio version! I love Angry Birds, so worth the price I paid and so fun! :p

Anyway, 29 days 'til you're back, hubbie!

I am coping.

It's only been days, 4 days to be exact, since Lan's gone. I am coping, not too sad, but way so quiet. I am trying to keep myself eating orderly, which is hard, because sometimes I become too lazy to cook when I don't feel the hunger. *sigh*

We keep our communication by a phone call a day. We've got a great offer, GBP10.21 a month for 3000 minutes to call to China. That should be enough for our chatting schedule.

It's been very quiet here in the long weekend. Not much going on. Yesterday, I watched Will & Kate's wedding through live streaming on the BBC website. It was beautiful and elegant. I like that Kate was so simple and yet so elegant. I do question why they are so relaxed like that? I was so nervous on my wedding day... lol.

My French Schengen application has arrived safely to the embassy. Now it's the wait. I really hope it goes through smoothly and successfully (since there is no reasons for it not to!).

Tomorrow I'll be going to church wit…

And he's gone.

My heart is half a wreck today. He's up in the air right now heading to Dubai, before flying to Beijing. I cried, he cried. I saw him off, disappeared into the train that took him to Manchester Airport. And I waited, I saw the train slowly heading away from me. And there he went...

I tired myself today. Walked around town, bought a few essential stuffs and ended up watching Rio 3D. It is a great movie! I love it! It'd be more lovely if I watched it with you, honey... *sigh* I cried at the happy ending. My heart aches like I can't describe it.

And now, the wait... until the 1st of June.

34 hours + 6 minutes

That's how long I've got until Lan goes on the train that takes him To Manchester Airport. He doesn't want me to go with him to the Airport, he said it's too hard to bear, too hard not to cry... That's my guy, that's my husband, tough and strong but has such a tender heart. I've heard him cry when I left for home alone last year and the year before. That's how much he loves me.

And that same guy will soon rip apart my heart and take the half with him all the way to Beijing. I think I'll go insane. I think I'll miss him beyond words. My sweet guy, what am I gonna do?

He's been making sure that things are prepared for me. He loaded the fridge, enough for me to survive 2 weeks at least. He made sure the electricity meter is loaded so that I won't be without power. He'll clean the carpet tomorrow for me. My sweet guy.

I've been spending most of my time with him, instead of the computer, but I can't get enough. This is going to be…

A step forward.

Today, I've sent my application for the French Schengen visa via post. It should arrive there either Saturday or Tuesday next week *oh my dear Easter long weekend...* Lan and I feel much more relieved and making our Paris plan feel even more real and closer to a reality. I really hope I get this visa. Paris, one of the dream places in this world that I'd love to visit, it's actually in the number ONE position right now. We're coming, Paris, in July. Please let us come.

On another hand, in less than 6 days Lan will be gone.
I can't go, because I still have counselling therapies to go to as well as applying for the French Schengen visa means that I don't have my passport with me. On top of that, Lan goes home for a lot of important things to do; extend his visa, buy some flight tickets, look for an apartment for us to live in September, look out for a job and health check up, etc. I'll be here, resting myself and making peace with myself about withdrawing fro…

In a week time...

Lan is going home to Beijing alone and I will be here by myself until 1st June. He is so happy and excited and here I am dreading the days I will spend alone... I don't how I will cope, I don't know how I will manage. I realised how much independence marriage has stripped away from me, I am so dependent on Lan, he is like the left side of my body, he is the air I breathe.

Sadly, I won't be going to Holland at all due to the long queue for the visa appointments until the middle of May, which is the time I won't to get going. Anyway, I will stay and hopefully will spend more time with a few friends of mine, as well as scrapbooking to my heart's content.

Tomorrow, we are going to the beach in Crosby. It's going to be a good day, I really hope we have a great time there and just have the moment together, nice memories and lots of pictures. For me to smile at when he's not here...

All his stuffs are packed. By me. LOL! I really pray he goes and comes back safely…

I wanna go here and there...

Lately, I've just realised that all these years my life has been very much restricted. Living as a student is not always a good thing... I have always want to travel around, to see the country I am currently living in, to visit Europe, which is just around the 'neighborhood'. But, I never got to do that. There was always something that stopped from making the step; the money, the time, the VISA, et cetera.

So, we're making a plan ahead... for the few months left here, I hope to get to see Europe for a bit. I am in the process of planning a trip to Netherlands, alone, while Lan is at home in Beijing to do some necessary stuffs. I really hope it does come true. And then the trip to Paris in July, after Lan's graduation.

Heavenly Father, please hear my prayers and let the visa applications go smoothly. Amen.

The longest walk home!

Last week, I had a little light-bulb moment of what to do with my time. So I decided that it has been a long overdue for me to go back and do some exercise. I hate sports with all my heart and soul. I am the kind of person who would easily trip herself with her own foot (or even over nothing!). Ever since I was little I am far away from being a sporty person. BUT, there is ONE, one sport that I love: swimming! And I thought, 'why don't I start going to the gym and swim once a week? That wouldn't hurt, right?'.

Well, today, I went. I was glad the pool was not crowded, but I did have some blind moments (yes, I can't see without my glasses that well). Anyway, I have to say I was feeling nervous about it, but I went in. I did 5 laps (not continuously) (on a 33m pool) with a lot of struggles. I was quickly tired and running out of breath. Seriously, I think I need to take a swimming 101 lesson again! But I am glad I did it!

After that, I showered and walked home. I neve…

Fixing me up.

Prior to the melt-down at the end of February, I am finally officially going to counselling to fix myself up. Today, there were 2 things happening; one, my 6-months suspension is finally approved. Two, I went for my initial counselling appointment today.

Since that horrible week I had in February, I had been talking and crying a lot, but lately, I was fine. I don't cry any more, I do things that I am supposed to do, although, there are times where I am more forgetful than ever as well as times where my mind just wanders around and confuses me.
But today, I got to dig deeper. I got to talk without worrying what my counsellor will say and how she judges me. I found out, I still cried, I am still hurt, scared and confused. I found I have a lot to solve with myself.

If there is one target that I have, it's a target to fix myself. To get me out of this depression and to get me up and running 'normal' again. I don't want to fix it by medication, I don't want to just …

Packing, chilling & praying.

Or should I say praying comes first? We are praying and hoping genuinely for a little sweet baby that will come in His right time. We know God knows best.

It has been decided that we are going home for good on 29th July 2011. Thanks to our parents for supporting us and loving us so freely and unconditionally. Yes, I will be moving to Beijing before the end of this year, but before that, we will be going to Bali for a month. I am super blessed to say that Papi has bought our tickets home! *YAY!* We'll be going on Singapore Airlines from Manchester to Denpasar via Singapore.

There is something that I learnt about this, that I want to remember. It was the freedom, knowing that he is my dad and that he loves me, I was not afraid to ask. But, what amazes me is his response... I remember being a child, I always dreaded the times I had to ask something from him, because I always got silence. Like as if he is thinking and never finishes thinking.
He is a changed father, praise The Lord for…

I am a legal driver now! YAY!

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So, two days ago, I took my THIRD practical driving test. I was so nervous, whether or not I've done it twice before LOL! My examiner was Michelle, the lady that was the examiner on my first test. She is a very very nice lady. :)
This time, I took the plunge to do the test without my instructor, Sean, going with me. He said that it might lessen the pressure on me. So I thought it worth a try.

The first 20 minutes out of the 40 minutes, I was so nervous. My left leg was shaking so bad while doing the 'reverse to the left' manoeuvre! I decided to ask for some time, I took some deep breaths, prayed in my head and heart and got to calm myself down. Thank God, I finally did it properly. At the end of it, I got 6 minor mistakes and NO serious mistake! And I PASSED!! YAY!!!!


I was so so happy, so giddy and so thankful and so relieved!
I am thankful to The Lord for the calmness and wisdom, for Lan, who continuously and without fail, supported me and prayed with me, and for Sean, m…

Oh my dear throat...

After the church conference in Sheffield, I was so tired and needed a lot of rests. Well, I did, but Sunday night I started feeling unwell and had a sore throat. It got really painful, but I thought I'd recover some day.

Well, yesterday, I had to go to Doctor since I need a medical certificate for my study suspension, so I might as well check my throat. It wasn't just a sore throat. I have ulcers in my throat and infections... Mmmm... Not good.

So I am on Penicillin for a week now, with fever running up and down every now and then. Argh... It hurts and drains my energy. I just feel tired constantly :(

I hope it gets better soon. I want to enjoy eating my food...

Saving my sanity.

I have been very quiet lately... I stepped out of the world for a bit and looked inside ME. Three weeks ago, I broke down in front of my supervisors, confessing that I can't do this PhD any more. I was so stressed out that I lost myself somewhat in between and got ill times and times again. That time, I came out of the denial I had been living in the past 12 months that I was struggling beyond my control. I lost my motivation and did not feel like I own the research that I was doing.

I procrastinated and had a hard time getting any of my studies done.

So, this two weeks, I took some time out to just really think whether this PhD is worth my sanity, myself, my happiness... I know it's only 10 months left, but because of the procrastination, I have SO much to do and so little time. *not good*
Lots of things went through my mind; my parents, Lan's parents, the closest ones, their reactions. Then, above all, my own reaction. If I continue, will I cope? If I withdraw, will I ev…

Let me introduce you to Dr. Lan Zhang!!

After a nerve-racking day, I am super proud to announce that Lan is *unofficially* a Doctor now! He did his viva for 1 hour and 30 minutes (quite a short one, since the average length of time is 2 hours minimum!) and successfully answered all the questions and defended his thesis!

I was so nervous for him and my pride for him is beyond words! Praise Jesus for all the strength, wisdom and guidance! May His name be glorified! Thank you Jesus!

Could Spring really come early this year?

Seems like the days are much longer lately, I still can see some daylights around 4-5 pm. That's a good sign! Maybe Spring really decided to come early, because I've seen some beautiful sunshiny day today :)

I can't wait for Winter to be over. Yep, I have enough Winter for now... give me warmth and no-bulky-jacket any time, I'll gladly take it!

Lan's viva is 3 days away... He's nervous, very... Chocolate and snacks are on their way to soothe him hehehe... I am pretty sure he'll do a great job on it! :)
I am on the mend... still exhausted and out of focus at times, but I am making effort to go to office this week, doing my study. Hopefully soon I can feel better enough to resume my driving lesson. I want to get it over and done with!

These two days there is an exciting topic in Lan's and my conversations! Vacations! We're hoping to go to Paris, Disneyland and Wengen (Switzerland) after Lan's graduation (and hopefully my thesis submission!). I hop…

Windy Liverpool

It's been so windy these last couple of days, it makes me doubly tired than I'm already feeling! I just hope the winds would soon move somewhere else! LOL!

Blood test results show everything in my blood was normal. So, we still don't know what is wrong with me. We're going to the same doctor next Wednesday, hoping we'll get some answers soon. Praise The Lord is not thyroid problem or anything scary and I am sure my mum was quite relieved to hear the word 'normal'. She was so concerned...

I am still crazily exhausted with the 9+ hours of sleep each day, but I am glad my appetite is improving. Occasionally, I do get some stomach pains or headache or mood swings, but I am trying to get back on track with study and teaching, since the new semester has started.

Lan is having is viva next Friday, 11 February 2011. I am praying and trusting him in The Lord's hands. I know and I believe Lan can do it. He's smart and able! I am excited that he is going to be…

Dreams...

It's been almost the whole week, I think, that I always dream about my parents during the night. Either I'm somewhere I've never been or, like last night, I dream I was at home, preparing to fly to UK with my parents.

This is my second time dreaming my parents are coming to UK. I really hope one day it will come true soon.

On the other hand, I am feeling a bit better. I do have a stiff neck and shoulders for 3 days already, appetite is picking up but my taste is still bitter. I just hope the test comes back negative.

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

What's going on?

My body is not well at the moment. No matter how much I sleep, I always wake up feeling tired and anxious. And when I am hungry and start to eat, I suddenly don't want to eat anything. It's bugging me...

This morning, my nose started bleeding... It's 15.00 and I've had 3 nosebleeds in a day. Never had that before, never had nosebleeds often in my life either.
So, after lunch, Lan took me to see a GP (General Practitioner) aka Doctor. She said I might have a bacteria infection (but it's strange because I have no fever) or, it's also possible that something is wrong with my thyroid level. So, she ordered a blood test for me, 4 different tubes. And I was such a baby, I loathe to get my blood taken!

Oh, and when she took my blood pressure, it was 80/130, which is high for me, since I tend to have a lower blood pressure than that.

Well, it's going to be a week before I know the results of my blood tests. In the mean time, the GP told me to take things easy and r…

Oops!

Had an hour driving lesson today, instead of the usual 2 hours. I did a very bad mistake... not stopping at the pedestrian crossing when light was red *oops!* Luckily it wasn't a test.
Let's say... I was hesitating too much.

On another topic, I start knitting again! *Yay!!* I am know knitting a baby hat, a preparation for the future hehehe... I love knitting, but I hate the prices of the yarns! Yes, there are some cheap and reasonably-priced yarns, but I can only use the yarns that are not made of any microfibres. It has to be cotton or wool. I guess these days, natural stuffs are more expensive that those man-made stuffs... *sigh*

I *heart* sushi!

I am sure I'm not the only one, but I have to say, I love love love sushi, especially if they are fresh... *mmm...* That makes me miss Sushi Tei. Did you know how excited I was when Sushi Tei opened up in Bali? Very! LOL! Too bad I can't pay a visit very often, since I'm here. What's more I love about it is that my parents would pay for it *LOL* If we go eat sushi here in Liverpool, we either have to have a pretty good voucher to use (at least 40% off) or it's an event worth to celebrate. *sigh*

I really hope this student life does not last long...

P.s. And I hope the broken heater is fixed soon! It's really horrible to be sitting in a freezing cold toilet! *Grrr!*

Why does the heater break...

When it's WINTER?
Every year, the University always struggles with the heating system, but *note this* ONLY during the Winter? It's freezing cold right now in the building I am in and yeah, it's so not comfortable trying to work while you are cold!!! :(
It's just horrible. There is always a leaking pipe somewhere somewhat...

I hope they fix it soon enough, because I just hate the cold freezing office :(

On the other post, today, I was all thinking about those flood victims in Queensland, Australia. I saw the photos, the videos, 9 metres of water! WOW! That is devastating and making me sad :(
I hope the worst is over and the recovery is going well and those missing people are found safe and alive.

When I read all about natural disasters that's been going on, the abnormal weathers and things that go on in the world, I am really thinking that the end of the world is really near. All that's been prophesied and written in the Bible is being fulfilled one after anoth…

Never again!

I have a thing with thriller, horror, scary, spooky movies! I just can NOT watch them! Even if I *unfortunately* end up watching them, I'd be having troubles to sleep. I am such a visual person that the scenes from the movies would play over and over again in my head, freaking me out :(

Yesterday, we went to the cinema to lift our mood up and Lan chose 'The season of witch', which he thinks was not so scary because there IS Nicholas Cage in it. What the heck?! It turned out I was sitting there and crushing his hand for the whole length of the movie. Call me a coward, but it is just not my cup of tea. I said to him, "you picked the WRONG movie!"
And it didn't end there. I was wide awake last night having the movie's scenes playing over and over in my head while I listened to a background noise of snore.
My eyes are so puffy now because of the lack of sleep. *GAH*

Never ever I'll go into those kinds of movies! I've had enough.

And... try again!

I failed my test today, just because of this ONE stupid and serious mistake. I was so close to passing that I am super annoyed with myself. Even my instructor who went along with me, he was in denial that I failed.

But yeah... I'm trying again in 2 weeks time. And I know this time I'll make it right! I can drive as good as any other drivers out there. If today proved anything, it proved that I CAN drive; I am a driver not a learner any more.

Thanks God that I have to go through these to get myself aware of things that are dangerous for me. Thanks God for supportive husband and awesome instructor, Sean!

Thanks God for loving me.

You can do this!

I am trying to not think about my driving test tomorrow right now, because I know if I get nervous, I'll just ruin everything. What I need to tell myself over and over is that 'I can do this!' I can drive safely, I know what to do, I am not a learner any more, I am a DRIVER!

I will keep telling myself to do my best and let God do the rest. I know I can! With God, I can :) I will pass tomorrow, God's willing.

I wish I know...

The GENDER of our first child in advance, even before I conceive! Because all the sales in town are driving me crazy! All those cute baby clothes make me want to get them all... I guess, since technology is so advanced and you can know your child's gender early, it makes unisex baby clothes quite hard to find!

Yeah, I have started to collect baby clothes now. And yes, we are trying to conceive. We have been praying for it and we are BOTH ready. Hopefully this year sometime will bring a great news to both of us and those impatiently-waiting grandparents! ;)

In God's time, you will come, little one. Mama is waiting eagerly for you, and so Papa.

Hey, Mr & Mrs Snow!

Every time you send your little flurry kiddos down around Liverpool, I'd jump up and down happily like a little girl getting her favourite candy. That ONLY happens when I am actually INSIDE the flat and looking OUTSIDE our huge window!
Once I am actually outside, I'd be wishing in my heart, you'd send a little less of your kiddos down, because, hey, it's freezing cold and icy! How about you save those flurry kiddos until AFTER 11 January 2011? Because really, I can't afford having my driving test to be postponed again just because of snow! I hope you hear my plea on this, I'd appreciate it!

xoxo

A learner who wants to be a proper driver!

Why so sleepy?

My driving went a little better, today. I've managed to control the steering well, there were just some little things that made it crappy... The major thing is that I was looking for a road on the LEFT, when I am supposed to be going to the RIGHT... Gah... Why oh why I always get my LEFT and RIGHT messed up like that?!

Lately, I've been feeling sleepy and tired easily, although I've had quite a lot of sleep during the holiday. I am not sure why... but I know during the night, while sleeping, my brain is so active that in the morning I just feel so exhausted :( It's as if my body needs a whole lot sleep than usual... and here I am in the office trying to fight this sleepiness :(

Oh well... I know I've got a pile of assignments to mark, so I've got no choice!
Oh, and on top of the sleepiness, lately I would be hungry but can't eat much... I suddenly want those junky food like KFC, McD, etc... what a bad wanting, right?

Back on the road!

Today, after 2 weeks holiday, I'm back driving again. It was a really shaky performance, as my nerve got on me. I really have to get my driving skill back the way it was before next Tuesday, because I'll be having my test then! In a week time...

My biggest problem was confidence... I was lacking in confidence and I didn't believe in myself while driving :( So this whole week, I'll be telling myself over and over again... "Hey, you can do it!"

Happy birthday, Mam!!!

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Happiest birthday to you, Mam! Happier than ever before, I hope, day by day! Happy 46th years YOUNG!
You are my MUM, my SISTER and my FRIEND!
I love you to bits, though I know it's nothing compared to your love to me!
I am thankful to The Lord for you, I am lucky to have you!
You go through lots for me and never fail to shower me with your love.

You bring smiles to my face when I cry and am sad.

Love you, Mam!
Thank you for knocking the Heaven's door with each and every prayers you've said for your children. I'm who I am because of you, too. :)

xoxo

Hello, 2011!

Hey, 2011!
It's only been 23 hours and 16 minutes, but I am positive that the new year will bring new goodness, new blessings and new success. 2010 was a year that went by so fast, that it was a blur when I tried to remember anything. Out of all the good things that happened, one stood out: Lan submitted his thesis. :)
Thank you, Jesus, for the everlasting guidance, blessings and teachings in our daily life and marriage in 2010. It could not be better than what You have given to us.

Moreover, thank you for the new year ahead. We surrender all to You. Our lives, our worry, our dreams and wishes, Lord, You know. May Your will be done in our lives and marriage.

For the holiday season, we did not really do much... We stayed at home, and I mostly caught up LOTS of sleep. The gloomy days helped to make it easier to sleep than to do anything else.
Christmas dinner was a saved-disaster... I planned to do roast chicken, but for some reason, the chicken went bad, so I had to switch to bacon…