Posted by ~Summer~ on October 11, 2023
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I always wonder how it would feel like to turn 40 because it would mean that half of your life has passed. Have the decades been well spent? Did you achieve what you dreamt of as a kid? Are you contented with where you are in life now? What do you want to do in the second half of your life to make it an even more fulfilling one?

And the most important one: Are You Happy?

As a kid, I had big dreams of becoming an entrepreneur but I also had simpler ones of becoming a mum who loves her kids. I guess having only two years of work experience before moving to Sweden didn't help to achieve the former but I did make the latter come true at the age of 26. Then at 29, 32 and 37, I became a mum again and again and decided that four is the ideal number for me. 

Well, I can't say that motherhood is a bed of roses and this journey is definitely much harder than how I envisioned it to be. The struggles, the flare-ups, the frustration, the fatigue, the self-doubt - all these are very real and take an incredible amount of strength to overcome as I try to be a more patient, understanding and loving mum. After 13 long years, I still have a long way to go and so much to learn.

That said, I do think I love being where I am and who I am in this stage of my life. Sure, I still make lots of mistakes, make hasty decisions that I regret, have unfulfilled dreams and I'm not totally sure of how life will pan out in the next couple of decades. But right now right here, I am proud to be a stay-at-home mum who doesn't work for a salary but work tirelessly for the home and the kids, who doesn't do big project presentations but reads bedtime stories every night, who need not attend meetings but enjoys listening to the chatter when the kids come home, who doesn't wear formal clothes and feels most comfortable in a baggy shirt and shorts, who can find a thousand ways to complain about life but chooses to see the cup as half full and loves her life to the max.

Here's sharing more about the day I turned forty - a simple but happy celebration filled with love and laughter. Just like the way I've chosen to live my life all this while.


Handmade cards mean the world to me. Every year, I look forward to receiving cards from the kids but never once have I taken them for granted. I know how these take effort and time to make and am truly thankful that we still keep up the tradition of making cards to show our love. The older kids helped Ansel to make one too which was really sweet of them. Angel did a special one this year in the form of a DIY candy bag filled with handmade 'candies' that contain a message in each of them. So much thought, so much effort. Thank you, all my dears!

The girls woke up extra early on my birthday because they wanted to surprise me with breakfast. Together, they made pancakes which were yummy, delightful and deeply cherished because of all the love that went into making them. Well, I did help with the cleaning up but my heart was grateful and this was definitely one of the best breakfasts ever.

On my big day, we didn't have a lavish celebration nor did we gather big groups of friends to celebrate together. In fact, a couple of us were feeling a little under the weather but thankfully, we still managed to head out and have some fun. First up, we had a family badminton session! I always love playing badminton with the kids and I don't think we do enough of it, considering how both the hubby and I were badminton players back in school days. It is even more rare that we have a court session because this needs to be booked and costs money. So I totally treasured this 2-hour session and had fun with the kids. I even did shuttle run with Ansel too - he loves to run! - and it was nice seeing the smiles on all our faces.

After that, we jumped into the pool for a dip and swim. The younger ones had fun on the playground, especially the slide, while the rest of us just chilled in the water as we watched monkeys walking past.

Lastly, we ended off the day with one of my favourite pastimes - Karaoke! Yes, we always love our KTV sessions and it makes me happy to see that the kids love to sing too. In fact, they sing more than we do and the girls love Kpop so much that they will get up to sing and dance too. We spent a little more to get this spacious room that comes with a table soccer - much to the delight of the boys - and we could even order our dinner in so that we could eat as we sang. Shiok!

The hubby only sang one song that night because the kids took over most of the session, haha, but it we managed to sing a duet that was featured in our wedding video and had special meaning for both of us. So that brought back some memories and was a heartwarming way to end off the night.

Of course, there always has to be a cake and we had brought over one that was sent by a friend so that the kids could have the chance to blow out the candles together. Actually, it needn't always be a cake but there must always be a ceremony that includes singing the birthday song, making a wish and blowing out the candles. Even if you do it on a scoop of ice cream or a cup of fruits. Yup, I guess I am traditional that way and I still believe that birthday wishes can come true. 

Frankly speaking, I don't really have many close friends but for those that I do hold close to my heart, I met up with them in the month of April and we had a good time together. The most lavish celebration this year goes to my yacht party where I hung out with four of my besties - thank you for going the extra mile to plan this and for making time for me! - and we had a blast drinking, partying, chilling out, chatting, enjoying the sea breeze and more importantly, each other's company.

My parents always treat me to good food when it is my birthday and this time, we headed to Golden Mile for sumptuous steamboat dinner. It is our of our favourite places to dine in and this was the place where the hubby met my mum and my beloved Popo, who I still miss every single day, for the first time too. Yup, such precious memories. My Dad also made sure he brought along my favourite cake - Coco Exotic from Four Leaves - for everyone to enjoy. Thank you for the love!

As I've said before last year, I love BBQ sessions and we actually booked a pit during my birthday weekend so we could have a barbecue with the parents. Alas, things didn't turn out that way as some of us fell sick so the gathering had to be postponed. We didn't want to waste the session so with just our family of six, we still made our way to the pool and had a simple but totally delicious dinner which included roasted marshmallows, yummy chicken wings, sweet potatoes, nicely burnt bacon as well as ice cream and apple cider for dessert. Oh yes, we received a birthday cake sent by another group of friends so I had a second cake-cutting ceremony with the kids, woohoo!

So this is forty and this is me. 

Am I happy? Yes, I am. 100%. And I can't be thankful enough to be where I am right here right now. Life is beautiful the way I see it and I've been truly blessed to be a mum of four and be surrounded by lots of joy, love and laughter. Sure, throw in tantrums, bickers and non-stop backtalking too, but it's part and parcel of my life and I wouldn't trade it in for anything in the world.

Till the next year!


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