Wednesday, May 28, 2014

All that we can endure.


I shared this on Facebook the other day. Tears poured down my face as I read it because isn't it our worst fears as parents to watch our babies sufferings? And yet what I couldn't stop thinking about as I read it, was the courage of the parents! Human strength is amazing and yet so scary at the same time. That we humans who imagine we would just not be able to live if our worst fears came true, are stronger than we think we are. It would be easier to not survive. It is scary as hell to live through the worst days of our lives, but somehow survive we do! It is not our weakness that scares me, it is our strength. It is the fact that we are able to endure so much more than we imagine.

My sisters and I talk about this sometimes, how it seems like those that are able to handle difficult times with a smile on their face and courage in their hearts, seem to get so much more to handle. But some things we cant understand, only that we are stronger than we think we are. And even when it seems like we just could not handle another personal battle, big or small, know that you really can. And also it is so true that if God brought you to it, He will get you through it. Find strength in the things around you, in your blessings and know that you can do it, one step at a time.


Also realized that we are totally unaware of all the challenges and trials still to cross our paths and maybe this time of our lives, safe and healthy in our homes, together with our family, might be looked back on as when all was well. More reason to cherish what we have and make the most of it.

Thanks for reading, lots of love.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Conversations with Anya

Happy Monday you guys:). Starting a new series here to share some pieces of conversations with Anya. Love how entertaining toddler talk is and oh so cute, not always though! Lol. Its sad though because unless I write it down, I just forget all this toddler banter. Hopefully this series will motivate me to write more.


Overheard, a very grumpy Anya telling Bilal: I am not proud of you.
Bilal: Really, why aren't you proud of me?
Anya: You touch my pony(tail), I am not proud of you!


In the car on way to Mt Rainier.
Me: Anya look outside so you don't get dizzy.
Anya: Kabhi kabhi dizzy ho sakte hain. Kabhi kabhi girls happy hoti hain. Kabhi kabhi dizzy hoti hain. Girls DIZZY ho sakti gain. (Sometimes you can be dizzy. Sometimes girls are happy, sometimes they are dizzy. Girls can be dizzy.)
Me: ?!


On the way to a friend’s house in the car.
Me: Anya you know what, we’re going to Y’s house.
Anya: (Pauses and thinks about it) apko pata hai Y maar sakta bhi hai. (Do you know, Y can hit too.)!


Anya: Meine baba keh office jana hai. (I want to go to Baba’s office.)
Me: Aw, I'll take you one day
Anya: Hum one day mei agaye hain. (thinks and looks outside) one day blue sky ka naam hota hai. (We are in one day. (Looks outside), one day is the name of blue sky.)!

I am telling her about her friends coming over the next day, I said 'N ajaye?', (Can N come?)
Anya: NO. N kehta hai mere ghar aao, lekin meine uss keh ghar nai jana, mujhe N kee mama ka baby nahi banna' (N says come to my house. But I don’t want to go to his house. I don’t want to be his mama’s baby.)!


Anya thinks that this particular song on my cd in the car is about her Taya.‘Mama hum taya ko batayenge keh hamarae pass bhi taya wala song hai.’  And she loudly sings along to it: 'Tujh ko jo TAYA, to jeena aya.’ And yesterday fought with the person singing the song all the way to the grocery store, ‘No, Its my Taya’!


Thanks for reading and lots of love.

PS: A bilingual household means a bilingual kid! I'll try to post the translations of most of the conversations but sometimes its not that easy. Hope you’ll excuse that.

PPS: Names are hidden to protect the identity of the sweet people around us:p

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On doing it all, or not.


How do you do it all’, I feel guilty sometimes when I get this comment as if I have some secret tips for that! When you follow a blog or updates on social media, you see pieces of their lives like their homes, their meals, the stuff they do with their children, ETC and it seems like they naturally manage all of it. But is there really any such thing? As doing it all? We all have the same hours in our days and investing our time and attention on some things means that some other things will get left out. That is how it is. For me it means that I let go of stuff like for example laundry that gets done once a week or sometimes even in two weeks, a house that desperately needs some detailed organizing and cleaning on most days, meals that could use better planning. Of course I could use trying better in those areas but I also I would rather use that time on other things that inspire me.

I believe that we all have our strengths and passions as moms and wives. Parts of our role that we’re really good at. But that means we might focus less of our attention on the things we don’t feel as passionate about. And that is perfectly fine. Because there is no such thing as a mom that does it all. Some of us love cooking but focus less on decorating our houses. Some take pride in keeping our houses absolutely clean but don't mind giving our kids prepared meals.That’s normal and instead of putting ourselves down on all that we aren't good at, or comparing ourselves to those around us that are 'better', we should remember our strengths.

I also believe that it is important to make time out for things you’re passionate about. Being too busy is not an excuse. Love yourself enough to live a passionate and inspired life, that comes with making time for what matters to you. I truly believe I wouldn’t be able to be a good mom if I didn't make time for my interests.

Think about it, take pride in the things you’re good at, and give yourself grace for the others. Get inspired but don’t compare. Be passionate and value yourself and your time. Do something just for yourself. Of course try to be better everyday, but know that you’re doing the best job you can. And I’ll say it again, there’s no such thing as doing it all:)

Thanks for reading and lots of love.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mom Love.

I had been wanting to do a post on Mothers Day but sadly wasn’t able to. But whether you are a mom or a child, I hope you had a lovely day. I really enjoyed watching all the beautiful pictures of moms on my newsfeed on Facebook. Though I believe we shouldn’t wait for a particular day to appreciate and honor our moms, the day is a good reminder to value our moms and the gift of motherhood :) I also thought of those around me that have lost their mom or their child and those that long to be a mom. Special love and prayers for you guys. 


Waliya sent me this picture yesterday. This was from my parent’s trip to Europe when I was a year old:)

Some of the Mothers Day links I enjoyed over the weekend and wanted to share. Enjoy.

Love this beautiful Mothers Day prayer that puts it all in perspective.

Arriana Huffington shared some random memories about her mom.

If you want are a mom and want a good laugh, these 10 reasons why moms have superpowers and dads don’t.

What a great photo idea for next year maybe?

Finding solace on this day if your mother has passed away.

Loved these ideas on giving yourself some me-time luxury, for all eternally tired moms.

How your appreciation of Mothers Day changes once you’re a mom, a mom shares some memories.

Infertility and why you should watch what you say on Mothers Day.

Thanks for stopping by and lots of love.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

In Pictures: APRIL

Here is what our April looked like, in pictures and a little bit of words :) Happy May you guys (a few days late, but still).


Weather that finally let us venture out in the backyard quite a few days.




Turning a year older with a couple of celebrations thanks to my family and amazing friends.



Warmer weather meant the beginning of grilling season. A lovely evening at a friend’s place where we relaxed with the kids while the husbands cooked ;)



Celebrated 8 years from the day we said I DO with dinner followed by a walk by the lake.


April showers and some gorgeous blossoms meant a quick photo shoot thanks to my friend Ayesha.


Thanks to Sumera Naveed for this picture.



A warm week that meant afternoons spent in the backyard, play dates in the park, lunch at a new friend’s place and my husband’s adventures with the grill.





The last day of April well spent with sunshine, friends and relaxing at the beach.

Its funny how we tend to take pictures of the happy moments and so when we look back we forget the not so happy ones. Maybe its good thing or maybe I need to take my camera out at the not so happy moments. Stay tuned for some tantrum shots next time, you guys :p

Thanks for stopping by and lots of love.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

AROUND SEATTLE: Japanese Gardens


Photo story of a visit to the Seattle Japanese Gardens at the Washington Park Arboretum. A stroll through garden created by two Japanese immigrants and inspired by classical gardens in their homeland, it contains a beautiful mix of Japanese and Northwest plantations. A fun place to go for a relaxing little stroll with your family. We found out about it later but they have a teahouse too with daily demonstrations and the garden also hosts seasonal events spring through fall for kids and adults. It was my birthday the day we went and some local exploration was our way to celebrate:)

Thanks for reading and stopping by.


Friday, May 2, 2014

AROUND ISLAMABAD: Fun City at Centaurus Mall. And some thoughts.





Pictures from our trips to Fun City in the Centaurus Mall, Islamabad’s premier mall that opened last year. Probably the first of its kind in the city, it was so nice to have an indoor play area we could take Anya to. The carousal is the main attraction for kids but they have quite a few coin rides along with a bouncy play structure with lots to do inside. There are even some rides and entertainment for older kids and adults. Totally makes for a fun evening with your friends and family :)




Since before we reached Islamabad, my family had been super excited and looking forward to taking Anya here. And like it is on every trip, I was more paranoid in the first few days, about security issues and all that could go wrong while we were there. So when my family mentioned going here, I was too scared and made excuses. Tried to convince them to go another day, a weekday when there would be less people (and in my head, lesser of a security threat). Their faces fell and I could see I had hurt them. I realized soon enough that we had taken the journey across the world to meet them and make memories with them and that we were in a comparatively safer part of Pakistan. That a city I considered not safe enough to take my daughter out freely in during a visit, they lived their lives in it. That going out of our house is a risk, driving our car is a risk, every single step we take or don’t for that matter, we are at risk of losing it all. And yet we keep doing all of this because we got to live our lives. And so I said ‘Yes, lets go’, even though we were jetlagged and Anya was half asleep, even though my heart was beating fast at the sight of all those people when we were there, even though I kept checking the faces through the crowds trying to catch anything suspicious. The smiles on my mom and sisters’ faces, the excitement in their voices expressed their joy at finally doing what they had been dreaming of all those months, bringing Anya to a place they had found for her. It was priceless and I am so glad we went. It was worth it! May Allah keep our loved ones in His safest care.

More posts in this series here.

And similar thoughts shared earlier here.

Thanks for reading and lots of love.


Picture Credits for the bottom four pictures: Waliya Najib