Monday, December 23, 2013

A Christmas Resolution

Christmas and everything that comes with it -- the food, reunions with family and friends, the lights, the decors, the carols, the gifts are so hard to resist for me and surely for most people. 

Whether we like it or not, when you're drawn to all these things, you could easily become a victim of Christmas commercialism....and that's actually what happened to me!

I don't know why and I don't know how, but I ended up spending all my salary and and all my 13th month pay in a span of three weeks!  No matter how many times I try to compute my expenses, I still end up not knowing where the rest of my money went.

It's frustrating to buy gifts and have to think of the financial situation of the recipient.  What's ironic is that, I always end up giving something expensive to the one who can afford it, and giving something that's affordable to the person who's not usually able to afford expensive things.  Come to think of it, it should be the other way around. 

What's more is that, I always try to match the amount that I think my husband is going to spend for my gift, even though I know that no matter how hard I try I will never be able to match it because he earns several times more than  I do.

So now, two days before Christmas, I'm broke....and if I don't stop thinking about it, I'm going to have a terrible headache.  I have pondered about it, and I have reflected on it and I have come to a decision.  

Next Christmas, I would try my best to give nicer things to those who can't usually afford them and to only give what I can afford.  After all, the essence of giving is not in the price of the gift but in the thought, love and care that went into choosing and buying the gift.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taking Stock

I found this idea on Pip's blog. It looked fun so I decided to make one myself.

Making: a script for the field demonstration
Drinking: tea
Reading: The Christmas Ball
Wanting: a new camera and pants that fit
Looking: for more nice things to give this Christmas
Wasting: time
Wishing: for a baby girl
Enjoying: my new tablet
Waiting: for my salary
Liking: telenovelas
Wondering: what I'll get for Christmas
Loving: kindle
Hoping: I'll finish everything on time
Needing: more than just two weeks of Christmas break
Smelling: like Clinique in Bloom
Wearing: a thin sundress
Following: tight schedules
Noticing: the photographer my sister hired for my nephew's birthday party didn't take any shot of me
Knowing: I'm loved
Thinking: I should be working now
Feeling: tired but wonderful

Now, time to work!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some me-and-the-tree photos

There are so many things I love about Christmas but one of the things I love the most is the Christmas tree!

I don't know why but I go crazy every time I see one.  

I get all giddy and excited.

I just have to have my picture taken with it!

Oh, but this is a lonely doesn't have me!

What about you, what do you love about Christmas?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A year and a day ago

There are so many things I want to tell you today but I'm afraid some of them have to wait.

Today I am just going to tell you about how my Hunny Bed and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.
I've actually been waiting for it like crazy ever since he and I got married.  I wanted to go back to attend the Mass at the church where we were wed, and I wanted to sleep in the same room where we spent our first night.  I wanted to feel what I felt that day and the morning after.  Unfortunately, because of some events that happened, which I am going to tell you sometime soon, our wedding anniversary didn't go as I had planned.

Still, it was a special day which started quite late because we were too tired from our trip back to the Philippines the previous night.

We had Contis cake for breakfast. Yes, I know it's weird but we are, in our own different ways, weird.

Mom and Dad's gift to us

After breakfast, which should have been called brunch if it didn't consist of only cake, we drove to Tagaytay.

On our way there, we exchanged  gifts and look what Ruel gave me!

     Here we are at the church where we were wed.

Then we had lunch at Josephine's at around 2:30 pm.

A year and a day ago Hunny Bed and I said our I do's, promising to love each other forever.  As we start another year, I pray that God continues to protect and bless us, Toots and all our loved ones.  May He grant us with a strong and healthy baby girl of our own and give us many years of love and bliss.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Physically well, emotionally disturbed, feeling blessed

There had been times in the past when I would often complain about my situation or what I didn't have.

I remember times when I would look at other people and wish that I was just as tall, just as pretty, just as smart, just as rich or that my life was just as simple.

However, in the recent years, I have found myself counting my blessings more and appreciating my  life more. I guess it's not just because I am now older and wiser, but also because of all the things that had been happening in the past few years.

Just recently, thousands of my countrymen experienced different calamaties, both natural and man-made and they all happened one after the other, with just a week or so in between.  The most recent one was the super typhoon that hit Tacloban and other nearby provinces.

I'm sorry if I do not give much information here. Most of the time, I get too paranoid to even mention the things I fear the most.....and this is one of those times.   It's just that everything had been terrible. I do not know how the victims  of the different calamities will start over.  I'm afraid to watch the news or to look at the pictures on the internet.  I'm always afraid to go out of the house. I always want my loved ones within my eyesight.

But even if I feel this way, mixed in with the feelings of  anxiety, fear and depression, is a feeling of gratitude for all the blessings God has bestowed upon me and all of my loved ones.  I feel so unworthy and undeserving but I thank Him with all my heart for every little blessing, every breath, every joy, every victory (no matter how small and irrelevant) that He has blessed me and is continuing to bless me and all my loved ones with.

To all of you who read this blog and who've been worried about me, I want you to know that I am okay that with the grace of God all my loved ones are safe and well.

In the light of the recent events, let me share with you some pictures taken last Saturday.

my son, talking with one of our fellow volunteers

my boys resting after some heavy lifting

 These pictures were taken at San Carlos Seminary where donations are accepted and repacked for shipping.

So you see, dear friends, I am okay, all of my loved ones are.  God is so good!

Thank you very much for your concern.  A lot of countries have sent and are still sending help, so to the readers of this blog who are from these countries-- USA, UK, France, Japan, Germany,Israel, and all the others, thank you very much for your generosity to our countrymen.

God is great and may He continue to bless us and keep us all safe.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Broccoli recipe and a hammer

In my quest to get pregnant ASAP, I have decided to change my diet.  I'm staying away from chips and too much salt.  I'm eating seeds, nuts, cheese and greens.  Today, I cooked broccoli for dinner.  I sauteed lots of garlic in olive oil and butter, added previously boiled potatoes,  broccoli, chopped parsely and a pinch of salt.  Yummy!

I read somewhere that broccoli and spinach are good for women who want to get pregnant so tomorrow I'm cooking spinach for lunch!  I figured if pills alone can't help me, maybe a change in diet can, along with lots of prayers, of course!

Before I go, I just want to show you my son's latest treasure...

It's a flash disk that looks like Thor's hammer. At least, that's what I call it.  Toots told me that it has a name. It's hard to pronounce and I bet it's even harder to spell so I'll just call it what I want to call it.  Anyway, Ruel bought it for him during our side trip to Jollibee when we went out for grocery shopping this afternoon. Toots  loves it though it doesn't look that way in the pic. My son has issues with having his picture taken. :(

Honestly, I also love the hammer but I'm just too old for it.

Okay, time to stop typing and hit the sack.  I realized I ought to change my bedtime schedule too!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Photos

Today we heard heard Mass at the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod located on the rooftop of SM Aura.
We weren't really planning to hear Mass there, having planned to attend the evening Mass at our parish church but when we went to SM Aura in the morning, and we learned that there was a chapel, we decided to look for the chapel and see if there was still enough space for us. Since we were early, there was a lot.

We got there 20 minutes before the start of the celebration and aside from two other people, only the choir members were seated at the time.

Our decision to hear Mass there proved to be right.  The celebration was solemn. The sound system was excellent and the priest's homily was nice and clear.

Here are some photos taken outside the chapel.

My boys enjoying the view...

                        Here's what we had for lunch,


and for snacks.

You all know how much I love Christmas and everything that goes with it.  I just have to have my picture taken in front of every Christmas tree I see.  

This was my Sunday.  How was yours?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What I Did Today

We started our day early.  First on the itinerary was a trip to the Women's Health and Wellness Center at the Medical City for my ultrasound.  Again, they measured my uterine lining and follicles.  Unfortunately, my follicles were still developing.  This is so disappointing because I was already in the late stage of my cycle.  My doctor said we can't release the egg yet.  I have to continue taking my hormones and I'm due for another ultrasound on the 4th of November.

Good thing we finished our trip to the doctor early.  We had plenty of time left to go to Fully Booked at The Fort. They were having their Free Comic Book Day and Toots wanted to visit that branch because he said they were giving away three comic book per person unlike other branches that give away only one comic book per person.

Aside from the free comic books there were also big discounts on comic books.  My hunny bed, Ruel, and Toots ended up buying some additions to their loot.  I wanted to buy a book but it wasn't in my budget.  Fortunately, Ruel bought me what I'd been eyeing...

I usually go for romance books, chick lit, good old classics, historical fiction or mystery thrillers but when I read the reviews and some parts of the book, I thought it was interesting so I decided to take a risk on it hoping it might turn out to be a nice change.

Oh, and look who we bumped into...

I suggested he raise his cape like that. :)

There was an unusual excitement in the air at The Fort today, probably because they were entertaining trick or treaters.  There were mascots too , I recognized them from TV but didn't know their names since I didn't watch cartoons anymore.

What I do get to watch is The Walking Dead because Ruel loves the show. So, I got all excited when I saw this...

Okay, I was smiling in that photo, I was too excited.  I had to get Ruel to take another shot.  I desperately wanted to act.

I guess I still look like I'm smiling here.  Maybe I'll go back and have Ruel take another shot of me with the zombie.

What did you do today?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Time, don't be too much in a hurry!

This photo does not have anything to do with today's post but I'm posting it for lack of something better.

I must admit I have been delinquent with my blogging these past few months.  Honestly, it's not only with blogging I've been delinquent at, but also with taking pictures.  I don't know why or how it happened.  It's  just that  suddenly I don't look for "things" to capture anymore.

We are currently planning two trips out of the country.  I have told you how excited I was about the Hongkong trip.  It's our first family trip outside the country.  Everyone is going this time so that makes it exciting.  I was thinking of the trip earlier today, I got all excited about it again and then suddenly, I felt sad.
I wanted the months to hurry but I realized I shouldn't want them to hurry.   The days are passing by so fast as it is.  My parents are getting older and older. My husband and I are ageing so fast, Toots is growing up so fast and too soon.  I am afraid of all these changes and of all the changes that they would eventually bring.

I want to keep my parents with me.  I want Ruel and me to stay young and strong enough to work for our family.  I miss my little boy.  I miss his innocence and his joyful chatter.  I miss his sweetness.  I realize that I spent too much time with other things when I should have spent time savoring each moment I had with him when he was little.  Today I look at him and I try to see the chubby little boy I used to know and I cannot find him.  He has changed so much, not just in terms of his baby fat but also in  other aspects of his personality.   I don't want the months to pass by so quickly. I still want to enjoy Toots while he is still young. Soon, he will be in college, graduate, have a career, fall in love, get married and I won't be able to see him as often as I do today. And that scares me.

When I was younger I never felt like this.  I think this feeling is one proof I am indeed getting older.  It's true what they say, "Time is our greatest enemy."

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fertility Update

As many of you know I have been taking some pills to help me get pregnant.  There's one I take to help my uterine lining get thicker and another one to help with the size of my follicles.

I had an ultrasound yesterday to check my uterine lining and my follicles.  Unfortunately, the lining is still thin and the follicles are not yet mature in size.  My doctor was supposed to release the egg yesterday  but since I did not respond to the medication, he couldn't do as he planned.  Instead, he asked me to double my pill dosage.   I'll have another ultrasound on Saturday to check if everything is right.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some Thoughts Before I Go to Slumberland

There are several thoughts I'd like to share with you before I go to sleep tonight.

The medical procedure I had was a success  and it's now time to have a baby!  I am so excited!  I have been taking some medications to help the lining of my uterus and also to help improve the quality of my eggs.  I also downloaded an app on my phone called My Days.  It's like a tracker of a woman's cycle.  It tells you when your fertility is high and when you will ovulate.  I think it could come in very handy.  Just looking at the color codes of the days excites me.  I think deliberately planning a baby is a fascinating task!  I have to understand all these changes that occur in my body every month....things I have never tried to understand in full since the time I studied them in my science subjects.  

We booked our tickets for Hongkong.  Everyone in our family is going.  My parents, my sister, her husband and their baby Emilio, myself, my son Toots and my Hunny Bed Ruel.   This is our first family trip outside the country and I am brimming with excitement!

I guess you can say that these are happy days.  

However, I just can't bring myself to  just go skipping happily like a six-year-old kid now that something very bad had happened in Bohol and Cebu.   I feel sorry for the people there and I feel terrible and paranoid several times a day because of what happened.  I just tell myself that God will never let that kind of thing happen again.  I pray every day, every night for God to keep us safe and I have to show Him that I have faith in Him.  I have to overcome this negative feelings I have.  They are not from the Holy Spirit.  

"The Lord is my refuge. Whom shall I fear?"

What are your thoughts tonight?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Spiritual Retreat

Just three of the reflection questions we had to answer and talk about in our small groups.

I just came home from our university's annual religious retreat.  It was held in the Carmelites House of Spirituality in Tagaytay City.

Because we were there to pray, reflect and to deepen our relationship with God, we didn't really have enough time take pictures but here are some of those we were able to take.

We had a Eucharistic celebration every day and today we were given a special blessing. We were anointed with holy oil.

Here I am with my prayer partner.

inside the bus during departure time

the souvenir given to each of us

also a came with the rosary

This year's retreat was light and simple but it had its beautiful moments.  "In everything, love and serve the Lord" I think that is one thing I will remember from this retreat.

I came home renewed and wanting to become a better person.  However, with all the good thoughts and good intentions I came home with, I also brought home a terrible itch!  I've had it for two days now and I have really been suffering.  I don't know if it's an allergic reaction to something I ate or something in the yard.  I did not eat anything out of the ordinary. I hope it goes away after a couple of Alerta tablets.

my neck and shoulder

I forgot which part of my body this is.
So that's what I've been up since Wednesday. What have you been busy with?