I’ve been thinking about all my experiences in 2017, what I’ve learned from them and how to put them into words and since we haven’t caught up yet, I figured that this would be an ideal opportunity for us to do that. We’ve all faced ups and downs in the past year, we’ve all grown and have become a bit wiser. When reflecting on the year and making resolutions, it’s also important to take time to celebrate the little victories. I want to take a moment to reflect on of all the beautiful moments this year has brought me and look back at all the things that made me proud. We’re going to take a trip down memory lane, so fasten your seatbelt and get ready for the ride.
December 2016 / January 2017
Sharif and I usually spend the holidays with our family in the Netherlands. Both our parents live back home in Curacao, so the holidays we spend with our parents are rare. This time we had our whole family reunited for the holidays. Some people have no idea how lucky they are to be able to spend every special moment with those they love. Don’t take these moments for granted. So this New Year’s eve and Christmas was one of the rare, special and magical occurrences where our family was complete. We also finally got to celebrate our engagement with our parents.
My March highlight was finally seeing Drake live. After his concerts being sold out and being rescheduled multiple times he was finally on stage in Amsterdam. I saw the genius from Toronto with my very own eyes (can you feel the excitement? Uhu.). The first time we went to the concert we actually sat through the whole pre-show before they announced that Drake got sick. Seeing that a lot of people were disappointed, the second time around there were quite a few empty seats, so we sneaked into one of the better areas. We danced, screamed and sang along to every song. What a night!
After looking for houses for a while, we finally stumbled upon a “move-in ready” apartment in Overschie, Rotterdam. There was another person interested in renting the apartment, but Jesus had our backs folks! On April 4th, to be exact, we signed our contract and got the keys to the apartment that would soon be our first home together. Two weeks later we finally moved Sharif’s things into the house and a few days after we hosted our very first gathering in the house. For King’s day (April 27th) we had amazing weather and so we decided to host a King’s day barbecue for our friends.
Well, june was insane! Our parents and friends from Curacao flew in for our civil wedding. We decided early on that we wanted to celebrate our wedding with all of our friends, those in Curacao and in the Netherlands. Knowing that everyone couldn’t fly to Curacao we wanted to have the celebration split in two locations. We ended up having our civil union in the Netherlands at the city hall in Delft and we held our church ceremony in Curacao (more on that in the month July). We got married on a beautifully sunny afternoon on the 21st of June in the picturesque city of Delft and we celebrated our union at ‘Restaurant de Tuin’ in Rotterdam.
If june was insane then july was LEGEN-(wait for it) DARY! Sharif and I flew to Curacao on the 9th of July for part two of our wedding. We spent the first week enjoying the island, but every day after that was spent running errands and preparing for the wedding. Although the whole process was stressful, frustrating and exhausting, I must say that it was well worth it in the end. Walking down the aisle to marry the love of your life is a mesmerizing and life changing moment. Although the civil wedding in Delft was beautiful, (to me) nothing is as powerful, enchanting and divine as saying yes before God.
I title the month of August, “The month of exploration and adventure.” Sharif and I spent the few first days after the wedding at the Santa Barbara Beach hotel, enjoying our honeymoon. We also took time to explore the island, driving quads, visiting a few musea and going swimming. I also wanted to take sharif to meet some of my family in Bonaire. My family in Bonaire is incredibly important to me, and growing up I spent a lot of time there during school breaks. I really wanted to share that with Sharif and exploring the island together was lovely. After Bonaire, it was time to fly back to the Netherlands. We weren’t home for too long before we left again for our honeymoon to Croatia (read all about this in my honeymoon blog). When we finally made it back home (for real this time) it was time to settle into married life and start our lives together.
Unlike the months of June, July and August, the month of September was about celebrating the achievements of those closest to us. We celebrated the graduation of our dear friend Jehan. My cousin Yavis also had something to celebrate. He received his Propaedeutic Diploma within his first year of college and even my aunt was here from Bonaire to celebrate with him. I’m so proud of all of them!
The travel bug bit us and by November we were ready for another adventure. We headed to Malaga to celebrate Shairah (my sister-in-law) and Sharif’s birthdays. I have yet to introduce you to my group of friends. We call ourselves 'Shoko' (which means owl in papiamento). I also haven’t shared much about our trip to Malaga, but I promise there is a whole Shoko and Malaga blog coming up soon.
Just like that, another year is coming to a close. December is the month I started blogging again (click here to read about why I started blogging) , I celebrated my birthday and Sharif and I spent our first holiday together as a married couple. Not to mention, we also celebrated our first 6 months of marriage (time really flies when you’re having fun).
Looking back at 2017 I can say that it has been an uplifting and exhilarating year. Yes, I have had my share of setbacks and difficulties, but the inspiring and the spectacular moments definitely outweigh them. I wish this new year brings us all joy, peace and love in abundance. 2018 is our year, go get it!
Editor: Joshua Sakoetoe