Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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!

Monday, June 27, 2011

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 both Lan and I, but I am looking forward to it! Graduation, Paris, a month trip to HOME! I am pretty sure a LOT of fun are waiting for us... though, I am pretty sure I'll be sad leaving UK on the 29th July. I've been in Liverpool for since September 2002, that's 9 YEARS! I've met people (including my husband!), in and out, happy and sad... I feel I grew up here and know my way around here comfortably, and now it's time to move on.

Ah... time does fly so quickly.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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 :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

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 :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

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!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

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. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Llangollen - 11 June 2011

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 sun begun to shine. We, then, walked to Llangollen Wharf, where we got to see a canal boat being drawn by a horse. We were going to have our lunch on the side bench there, but, at the end, we moved away because there were ducks approaching us. I think they were trying to get some food from us!
During lunch, we were trying to decide what to do next. In the end, we agreed on going 'up' to Dinas Bran Castle. The journey took around an hour through a steep zig zag route. I was definitely having a hard time hiking up there! I had to keep stopping to catch my breath. While the view was definitely breathtaking, it sure took a LOT of breaths to get up there! Unfortunately, Dinas Bran Castle only managed to stand tall for 20 years because it was burnt and got ruined by the weather; strong winds, etc. Still, it was worth going up and sitting somewhere (where there were no sheep poo!) and just enjoying the scenery around it.
One thing that I forgot to say is that there were sheeps everywhere (and their poo too, obviously!)

After awhile, we went back down to the town, where I bought a very tasty rum & raising homemade ice cream *YUM* and Michel bought a bar of chocolate.
Our next destination was Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which was around 5-10 minutes by car from Llangollen. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a 38m high and 307m long canal bridge and pedestrian path with River Dee underneath. We crossed the Aqueduct and back nervously! It was very high and I made sure I held on the railing bar tightly on one hand and held on Michel's jacket on the other, just in case hehe... Despite the nerve, it was such an amazing experience! I can never imagine how they built such an amazing architecture!
From there, we headed back by, first passing the famous Horseshoe Pass, which is claimed to be the most spectacular views in Wales as it climbs from Llangollen around a wide valley to form the shape of its name. It's like driving in the middle of nowhere; every corner I looked it was green and fresh, the sheeps were, as if, they own the place, they were everywhere! What an awesome experience!

Ps #1. Thanks Michel for finding this place and for all the pictures. I had a great time :)
Ps #2. Click pictures for larger version.

Friday, June 10, 2011

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 my prayers, Lan's prayers and everybody else's prayers. I believe He is sorting this visa out for Lan and I. I believe that each passing minute brings us closer to the time when he comes back to my arms.

And I am thankful that I have hope in my dear Heavenly Father, otherwise, I don't know what I'd do now...

Have a great weekend, everyone, a blessed one :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Llandudno - 04 June 2011

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 breathtaking! I really loved being there and just looking at the scenery! A truly beautiful city.
After we walked to the end of the pier, stayed there to watch the jellyfish floating around aimlessly, we started to walk on the direction towards the summit of the Great Orme. There were 3 ways to get up to the summit; hike up there (around 2km), cable car, or the tram. I didn't really want to hike up there, since it was so steep and I was feeling exhausted mentally. So, we checked the price of the cable car first, since I've never been on a cable car. It would cost a bit more than £7.00 to get a return ticket on the cable car, which is a bit expensive for us, hence, we decided to check the Great Orme Tramway instead. The tram was way cheaper, £5.80 for a return ticket per person. That was good!
As we got on the tram ride, the view was absolutely stunning! I loved how green it is there, so beautiful and beyond words to describe. I think the 2 most favourite places for me in the UK would be York and Wales! They have beautiful sceneries as well as the English style that I expected it to be when I first arrived here in the UK.
As we went up, the air became chiller. I was having the worst of it, since I was wearing shorts hehehe... The wind was also stronger higher up, so we didn't stay for long up there. We took a half-way walk down, before getting on the tram to finally go down to town. I was just glad we did not hike up there, because, even going down, it was so difficult due to the stiffness. :)
Afterwards, we walked around the neighbourhood and were admiring the beautiful houses. I loved this town. We were there from around 1pm to 6pm, had fun and especially thankful about the beautiful weather. We were all tired and hungry on the way home, I had to keep reminding Michel to drive safely, hehehe.

All in all, I had a great time. Thanks, Michel, for a great day out! :)

Ps. Click on the pics to view them larger.

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' while trying to talk to a person! I sent another e-mail, to the customer service this time. No reply. Nice.

But, hey, miracle does happen :) Around 3.10pm, I got a call, the courier is outside waiting for me. GOOD! So, I got my passports back safely plus my French visa for our Paris trip in July! Hallelujah!
That's one thing off my list of prayers. Now, if only Lan's visa would come out TOMORROW, that will be great! :)

Thank you, my dear sweet Jesus!

Monday, June 06, 2011

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 think you don't know, because I can't even begin to describe it to you how much it tortures me to keep waiting like forever.

I just hope it's this week.

Friday, June 03, 2011

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.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

And June greets me with...

A BROKEN 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.