Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happiness is an "inside job"


I am in a panic mode.

Christmas is a few days away and I am not ready to face it. All of a sudden, I felt like Mister Scrooge reincarnated. I was thinking all sorts of things. I love to go shopping but just thinking about the effort to wrap up all the gifts makes me feel so exhausted. The Christmas dinner, each year? I would search my cookbook and come up with holiday treats that I could do with the kids. Now I don't have any idea what to cook. I have no excuse, I am not prepared for it. I had no time. Aarrrgh!

I felt bad for the kids. I felt so much like a bad mom, too busy with the career and neglecting home. That's not how I envisioned my kids would see me. I am in a rut.

So yesterday, hubby and I, together with the kids and the nanny set out for a day of Christmas shopping. I know what you're thinking - christmas shopping with the kids?! What was I thinking about? Hehe. Well, that's me hitting two birds with one stone. I wanted to be with the kids...but I am pressed for time, I needed to go shopping otherwise no gift-giving on Christmas. Sigh. Good thing my nanny was there to help me out. So we set out to dive into hidden treasures for the "perfect" christmas gift.

Before we set out to go shopping, we had mass at the Greenbelt Chapel. I loved hearing mass there, it was solemn and condusive. The kids were having fun...I felt peace somehow. That night I received my perfect gift. A message from above.

The homily was very good. The priest said, "Happiness, is an inside job." That caught my attention. I listened intently as he says that during Christmas we, at some point, put on a facade that we are the "saviour" ready to save the world with our own version of "giving". We set out to paint our houses, spend so much on gifts - most of the time overspend, we lavish our houses with ornaments and we pretent that we have it all covered...we pretend that "this" was what Christmas was all about. He says that Christmas is not that at all.

He says, we should not put so much guilt and weight on our shoulders -just to please other people. That way, we lose the spirit...we lose the gift of giving because it becomes automatic to give in that way. Sometimes, we should allow ourselves to feel the happiness and let the spirit of Christmas overpower us. Because that was what He wanted us to experience. The joy that comes with the remembering His birth. During Christmas He wants us to feel like a child again, anticipating His coming, as he brings His gifts of love. I don't know why, but I felt relief.

This season, I think we should all learn to relax a bit and just enjoy the experience. Forget the things we have to do and accomplish. It all starts inside, that tingly feeling we get in our chest as our hearts burst with love and happiness. Let's make it happen, let LOVE come from the inside then out.

“There's more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer; It's the spirit of sweet friendship that brightens all year. It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!”

Merry Christmas to you my dear dear friends! I wish you all good things and blessings all year round.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Secret Place


Some of us, if not all of us, at some point in our busy lives have secret places where we relax and decompress. A sacred place not for everyone to see. This place is quiet and soothing, surrounded with all things fresh and good. Well I went to that place today.

Today I took the day off, I have not done that for some time now and it felt good taking it slow for a change. After the kids went to school this morning, I grabbed the chance to go back to sleep. Snuggling back down into the warm covers felt soooooo good. When I woke up I had breakfast and then coffee. I went back to bed and did absolutely nothing. It was exhilarating.

I went to this secret place in my mind where everything was okay. I wanted to empty my mind somehow so I can fill it back up with new things. It seems to have been filled with soooo much work lately. Sometimes I am too tired to do anything and having the kids around takes away the tension. And of course hubby is always there to pep me up. But sometimes, you gotta go to a place where you get to be just yourself . No commitments, no decisions to be made, nothing just BE.

I guess it worked because I felt very relaxed. After awhile I opened the television and watched cooking shows. Haha, I really love doing that. My daughter always ask me why I watch Giada or Ina Garten and yet I don't really cook full course meals. Opppps, now don't get the wrong impression. You wonder now, who cooks for hubby and the kids? Haha, well I guess that's where my mom and nanny comes in. Well, I do cook occassionally, but mostly breakfast and dinner. I will not be able to do the things I do at work and get to play with the kids if I don't have a great support group - and I am blessed that I have them.

I really miss you guys, I hope to visit all of you very soon. In the meantime, I leave you something to ponder on. For those weary this and be comforted.

The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship!

I shall not want = That's Supply!

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest!

He leadeth me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment!

He restoreth my soul = That's Healing!

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That's Guidance!

For His name sake = That's Purpose!

Yea, though I walk through the valley of t he shadow of death = That's

I will fear no evil = That's Protection!

For Thou art with me = That's Faithfulness!

Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me = That's Discipline!

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies =
That's Hope!

Thou annointes t my head with oil = That's Consecration!

My cup runneth over = That's Abundance!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life =
That's Blessing !

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That's Security!

Forever = That's Eternity!

Do not ask the Lord to Guide your Footsteps if you are not willing to move your Feet. Peace to all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Grass is Always Greener...


Do you often catch yourself thinking how some people are luckier than you, how they are well-off, how some of them had better opportunities, better jobs, better lives. We are always unconsciously comparing our lives with theirs. And often times we find ourselves lacking in something, one way or the other. And that feeling of inadequacy leads us to a place called dissatisfaction. And this dissatisfaction leads us to an unhappy life.

If we always thought that way we will never live up to it. There would always be something missing. Something lacking. And that, for me, is a total waste of our precious time. I am guilty of wanting, wishing and dreaming of better things for me and my family. But opposed to comparing our lives to others, hoping that our lives could be better is not bad...not bad at all. Did you know that how one feels and how one sees things in their life is all a matter of one's perspective?

Let me tell you a story about "Perspectives" I received on e-mail. I posted this years ago and up to now I still think it important. Always seeing the good side of life has it's pay off. So here it is.

One day a father and his rich family took his young son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, "How was the trip? "Very good, Dad!"
"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.
"Yeah!" "And what did you learn?"

The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four.
We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end.
We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars.
Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon.
When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless. His son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!"

Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things? If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude toward life, you've got everything!You can't buy any of these things. You can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing! Author Unknown

Allow me to finish the sentence in a different way..."The Grass is Always Greener .... when you toil and water it with passion and love.

always remember, Life is what you make it...

Happy weekend guys!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Offline Messages

These past few days I have been "offline" figuratively and literally from Bloggerville and boy how I miss you guys soooooo much. The net connection in our area has been down for three weeks now and I was almost going insane without it.

The funny thing, though, in these last three weeks I was surprised to notice that I have accomplished a lot of things outside the net. One, I get to sleep early...I guess for lack of better things to do. I get to have a lot of play time with the kids, brush their hair and then put them to bed. After that I get to lie down with a very good book or watch television or a new DVD. At first I was fidgety but as the days went by I got used to it. I survived!

Hubby and I started reading this book by Donald Trump, called Think Big and Kick Ass. What a title huh? It's Donald's version of The Secret. It was surprisingly a good book. His goal was simple enough...but everything he did was BIG! I got to reflect a little and tried to look at my life through Donald's eyes and boy I could almost hear him say, "Sweetie? When are you gonna start living that life you were always dreaming of?"

Hmmm, that got me thinking. What kind of life was I leading right now? Was this the dream life I thought a lot of when I was little? It's not that fabulous but it's not that bad either but is this as far as I was prepared to go? Somehow I felt a little inadequate. It seems like I had not exerted that much of an effort really to be good at my job. I felt like I just did what I was told to do. Do this report, train this people, talk to this client, attend this meeting, make sure everything is up and running. Those words sounded like commands given to a robot. And that robot was me. Did I make a difference in my people's lives? I hoped so.

A light seemed to have been turned on inside of me. I wanted to be good at my job. To be successful and for me to do that I got to love what I do and I have to become good at it. You guessed it right now I am driven. Each day I go to work wanting to change things for the better.

They say just have to take one more step to close the distance. Let's take it one step at a time.

Thanks guys! Hope to visit all of you very sooon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bring it on!

Did you ever have days when everything seemed to pale in comparison with what you were feeling inside? Perhaps you were having a terrible morning and somehow missed seeing how that little rosebud you have been watching for some time now has finally bloomed into a beautiful pink rose. Or how brilliantly dazzling blue the sky was and how the sun seemed to shine straight at you as if putting you in a stage with a spotlight. People were sending you smiles but you were sending it back with a huge frown of worry in your face.

I have had those days myself. And at the end of each one, I realize that things were not so bad, I often regret how I wasted those precious moments being upset. I will be celebrating my birthday in a few days and I looked back and saw my life has changed a lot since my last birthday.

Aside from being another year older, I have realized that I am more courageous now to meet life head on. Before I thought life is just around the corner...waiting...for me. I was wrong. Life does not wait for no one. It's a choice you make everyday. So today I am changing my blog title. Hope you agree with me when I now say...LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT.

Let me tell you a story of how someone's life changed because someone helped him see.

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help." There were only a few coins in the hat.

A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.

Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?"

The man said, "I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way." What he had written was: "Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it."

Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?

Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively.

Live life with no excuse and love with no regrets. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear.

Sometimes the most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling! And even more beautiful is, knowing that you are the reason behind it!

John Maxwell once said, "Your attitude determines your altitude." Obviously he was on to something.
Happy weekend to all of you.

Monday, August 18, 2008

And now she's 5!

I look at my little girl and I couldn't believe my eyes. She's all grown up and has a mind of her own.

She likes to dress up and put on accessories. She loves the color pink.

She is sweet if she sets her mind to it and very very playful. She is very meticulous and likes to draw pictures and makes stories.You can never fool her, she knows what you're up to. Well her nanny knows only too well. LOL!

Happy birthday sweetheart! Mommy and daddy loves you very much and Ate Pia too!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

This is not your typical slow Sunday. I got to think about a lot of things today. Some of them pretty heavy stuff. I couldn't help but think that life is full of ironies. Just wanted to share with you a message I received this week. Read them very carefully.

Today we have bigger houses yet smaller families
More convenience, but less time

We Have More degrees, but less common sense
More knowledge, but less judgement

We have more experts, but more problems
More medicine, but less good health

We spend too recklessly
Laugh too little
Drive too fast
Get too angry too quickly
Stay up too late
Read too little
Watch TV too much
And are less considerate

We have multiplied our possessions, but have reduced our values
We talk too much, love too little and lie too often

We have learned how to make a living, but not a life
We have added years to life, but not life to years

We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers
Wider roads, but narrower viewpoints
We spend more, but have less
We buy more, yet enjoy it less
We have been all the way to the moon and back
But have trouble crossing the road to meet our neighbours.
We’ve conquered our outer space,
But not our inner space
We’ve split the atom
But not our prejudice

We write more, learn less,
plan more, but accomplish less
we have learned to rush, but not to wait,
we have higher incomes , but lower morals
We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies
But have less personal communication
We are long on quantity,
But less in quality
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion
Tall men and short character

More leisure but less fun - more kinds of food - but less nutrition
Two incomes - but more divorce
nicer houses - but broken homes

That is why I propose, that as of today, you do not keep anything for special occasions, because every day you live is a special occasion.

Search for knowledge, read more.
Sit and admire the view without paying attention to your needs.

Spend more time with your family and friends , eat your favorite food and visit the places you love.

Life is moments of enjoyment and not just about surviving.
Drink from the finest crystal glass.
Do not save your best perfume or aftershave but use it every day.

Remove phrases like “one of these days“, “someday” and “not now” from your vocabulary
write that letter you thought of writing “one of these days “
Let’s tell our families and friends how much we love them.
Do not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to your life .
Every day , every hour , and every minute is special.
As you do not know if they will be your last.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said "So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man's genius contracts itself to a very few hours."

Being a mom I am sometimes stuck in routine and most of the time in preparation, definitely in retrospection...Mr. Emerson is right it's time to change the way we see life.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Dear Life

My two precious daughters got sick this week. You would think that nine years of motherhood would have prepared me for this but sadly, no, I was not.

It started with a simple fever on Monday evening. I was not worried then. I knew how to handle fever. Sponge baths, ice pack on the forehead, monitor the temperature, paracetamol every four hours. I have done it many times before. Tuesday morning, my little girl Zoe has a slight fever too. I wanted them both to stay home so the fever won't progress but my eldest daughter pleaded that she didn't want to miss anything in school. Sigh, I told the nanny to stay a little longer than usual in school to make sure that both are okay. I went to work but decided to take the afternoon off so that I could make sure that the kids are okay.

When I arrived home I was surprised to see my mom and my sister in our room fuzzing over my eldest. As I entered the room I noticed how my mom looked. She was panicking. She looks like this when she's worried. "What's her temp?", I asked. "105.8 F", my mom whispered. I was shocked! I quickly changed clothes and took my daughter to the bathroom and gave her a cold bath. My heart was beating fast. I was the calm one...but all of a sudden I was thrown aback. The whole time her temperature only went down to 105 F. Worried was too light a word to describe how I was feeling. I called hubby and told him we might have to bring both the kids to the hospital.

We stayed in the hospital overnight then. We were sent home when their temperatures got down to normal. Their blood tests were normal. However, the evening the next day my eldest had high fever again. My medical background told me I had to bring her back to make sure that it was not Dengue Fever . Waiting for the result was killing me. It was like waiting for my sentence to be served. I told hubby and my daughter that I wanted to go to the chapel. I prayed with all that I am worth. And told my daughter to do the same. She smiled at me, "I already prayed mom. He already heard us."

It amazed me how certain she sounded when she said that. I banked on her faith. And I was not disappointed. She was negative for Dengue Fever. I felt as if the large knife that pierced through my heart was suddenly removed and I could breath again. I kissed and cuddled them both through the night and held their hands while they slept. If anything happened to them, I would die.

I would give everything up in a split second, even my life, just so my children could live. I realized even more how precious each moment with them counts. If only I could keep them in my pocket and take them wherever I go each day, I would.

Here's a nice quote from an unknown author that really touched my heart. Hope you like it and remember life is too precious to waste on hate, anger and pride. Love life and it will love you back.

"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good." ~ Author Unknown

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Chillin'

It's amazes me how music could spice up a movie and give it emphasis somehow. Just imagine if movies didn't have OSTs (official sound tracks). Say the movie Friday the 13th or Jaws without those heart-stopping moments that were empasized by simple notes and music. Dull right? Everyday I listen to music and I imagine that each day a new soundtrack of my life is being played. And funny how the song "Just Another Manic Monday" seem to play by itself all week long! LOL! And how odd that when my boss calls out for me to go to her office, I seem to hear those two notes from the movie "Jaws" as I approach her office. "dum dum, dum dum". Like I was about to devoured by sharp teeth. hehe.

I couldn't possibly last a day without music. I have it in my ear as soon as I go mobile on my way to work. And when I arrive at my desk I have to have music while I start reading my mails and sign some documents.

These past few weeks have been terribly busy ones that I was not able to update my blog or visit my favorite blogs at all. Ever since school started for my kids I have been on my toes as early as 5:30 in the morning. My youngest is not a morning person so I have to break her in for the day. I wake her up with kisses and hugs. At first it was quite a struggle for both of us but lately she's starting to wake up on her own. I would be giving them both a bath, it's funny how our bath times have suddenly turned into sing-alongs. Hehe. We sing "I like to move it", a song from the movie Madagascar and the kids will start to laugh and actually move it. hehehe.

This weekend I just chilled here at home well almost. Saturday I attended my nephew's amazing first birthday party. It was the first time that I attended a kids party with a Starbucks booth, a dog show and two mimes mesmerizing the guests! It was something unforgettable to say the least. And the food, for the adults we had tasty adults food but the kids buffet table had gourmet kids food! Haha. There were chefs preparing different ice cream concoctions and dessert stuff. It changed my idea of a kiddie party for life! hehe.

And so today is Sunday, I slept in. Lingered over my breakfast, well brunch actually. And then had time to really drink my coffee. The song I am playing right now?

Wanna know what I love to listen to all the time? My kids' laughter, they're simply music to my ears. I can't seem to get enough of it. It's something I want to hear all day long. It somehow tells me they are happy being with me.


Have a fantastic Sunday everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Think We've Got Something Special

Infatuation is when you think he's as sexy as Robert Redford, as smart as Henry Kissinger, as noble as Ralph Nader, as funny as Woody Allen, and as athletic as Jimmy Conners. Love is when you realize that he's as sexy as Woody Allen, as smart as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Ralph Nader, as athletic as Henry Kissinger and nothing like Robert Redford - but you'll take him anyway. ~ Judith Viorst, Redbook, 1975

This quote maybe a little outdated but I found it funny and so very true. LOL! Well anyway, hubby and I bonded with some of his old high school buddies last week. One of his close friends got back from the US so the "barkada" (friends) decided to troop to their place to catch up on old times and talk about their new life in the US. And yes, to also take a peek at the two new additions to the family.

All these years (geez has it been 11 years already?!) and it seems like nothing much has changed. The men (there were six of them) would group together to talk shop or whatever it is that men talk about. Hehe. Which I found out, were not really quite as different to what we, women, talk about. LOL! And we, the wives, formerly the girlfriends, would also pull up chairs and huddle close together to talk about err this and that.

When we were younger, that was when hubby and I were still dating, the topics ranged mostly from what movies we watched, where we go on dates, beauty tips, love tips and so forth and so on. Then as the years went by, one by one each couple would get engaged and then we talk about "the proposal", compare engagement rings and re run "how he proposed" and of course talk about "the wedding plans". Then after the wedding, there were baptisms, first birthdays, seventh birthdays, Christmas parties and parties - just because.

From silly boyish and girlish dreams and talks I noticed that we all have grown so much more mature. Now we were talking about investments, travels, our kids' education, our kids tuition fees and school. I found it really endearing that we may walk or talk differently but deep inside we have not really changed a lot. I love the way hubby would always reach for my hand, entwine his fingers in mine whenever we stand close together and the way he would kiss it absent-mindedly as he talked. The way he would pass me by and rub my back and drink from my glass. The way he would always present me as his "ex-girlfriend" to everyone and when they would raise their brows he would say, "and now my wife" and make everyone laugh.

Comparing our lives with his friends, ours may not be as rich in travels, not as elaborate, not as complicated, but boy! it sure has lots of love and laughter! And you know I think we really got something special. :D

This post is for my sweet hubby:D No occassion...I just felt I needed to thank him for making me love life. Here's a funky love song by's for all you hopeless romantics and cynics. Enjoy!

Now there's four of us holding that's really special don't you think?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thanks to You

My dad with my mom.

"A real friend walks in, when the rest of the whole world walks out".

That's how I feel about my dad. For me he is one of the "bestest" friends anyone could ever hope for. He always had his own way of teaching us things and I could not even begin to tell you how many of my traits are somewhat replicas of his =). When I was just a little girl I remember waiting for his car to come in the driveway and I would be running to him because I know, like always, that he has something special for me.

He drove us to school from the time we were just toddlers up to the time I was in the university and up to the time I graduated. He waited, patiently, for me while I was on duty from the hospital, he drove through strong typhoons, storms, earthquakes and any calamity just to get to me. He and my mom waited in baited breath as I was taking my professional board exam and celebrated with me, like crazy, when I passed it! My gosh! He even drove me to my first job interview and waited until it was finished!

I love you dad sooooo so much! And thank you for always being there for me and my family. Here's a song I'd like to dedicate to you, a summary of my thoughts and feelings for you. I hope you like it. Mwah!

Thank you for teaching me how to love
Showing me what the world means
What I've been dreamin' of
And now I know, there is nothing that I could not do
Thanks to You

For teaching me how to feel
Showing me my emotions
Letting me know what's real
From what is not
What I've got is more that I'd ever hoped for
And a lot of what I hope for is
Thanks to you

No mountain, no valley
No time, no space
No heartache, no heartbreak
No fall from grace
Can't stop me from believing
That my love will pull me through
Thanks to You

There's no mountain, no valley
No time, no space
No heartache, no heartbreak
No fall from grace
Can't stop me from believing
That my love will see me through
Thanks to You
Thanks to You

For teaching me how to live
Putting things in perspective
Showing me how to give
And how to take
No mistake
We were put here together
And if I breakdown
Forgive me but it's true
That I am aching with the love I feel inside
Thanks to You
Thanks to you

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- Unknown

P.S. Happy Father's Day also to my lovely husband. You're the greatest dad I could ever hope for to father my kids. I love you so much! And to my brother too.


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Risky Business

Last Friday hubby and I went to our friends' house, they are getting married tomorrow. And I am really excited for them. You see, they lived together for twelve years now and finally after all this time - they're getting married! We're ecstatic to say the least.

Hubby is going to be the best man. A small party was thrown for them by some friends. After dinner all of a sudden the table was cleared. The bride took out three decks of cards. "Let's play a game!", she uttered. I looked at hubby and he looked back at me. Suddenly everyone at the table was looking at me, "Common' Lisa, try it!". I was shaking my head. "I errr don't know how to gamble," I said shyly. Hubby whipered in my ear, "Go ahead, try it. If you don't like it, you can always quit." Not wanting to be a party pooper, I hesitantly joined the game. There was money at stake, to make it more fun they say. Thirty minutes into the game I was hooked! LOL! At first hubby was my guide he read my cards and he teaches me how much to bet. But when the stakes got higher he let me decide if I still wanted to gamble or stop.

The game was a revalation. I realized I was NOT a gambler. Ha ha! I only took calculated risk and I only bet what I have and can give up and nothing more. I was amazed and awed at the way the other players were risking everything they got (well the bet at least) for the game. And I can't help but think in the game of life how much was I willing to gamble?

Earlier that evening hubby and I got a chance to talk to the groom's parents. I knew them for a long time now but it was the first time that I had a one on one talk with both of them. Our friend's dad was really cool. He took things lightly. I can just imagine if it were my dad he'll probably freak out if I didn't get married and just lived in with a guy! You know what I loved about the whole conversation? It was the way they both reminisced their wedding day. He recalled it to be something simple but sweet. "It was not elaborate", he says, "but I remember that day vividly." There was so much love in the way they finished each other's sentences and stories. I felt envious at the way they joked and teased each other. I was looking at hubby and wondered if we will be like that when we grow older. I hope so!

This is my salute to our friends(whose names I won't mention). It has been a risky twelve years but finally you have come to this moment when you have played all your cards right and realized it was never how many times you won or lose...but it was how you played the game.

Love is a gamble, sometimes you win, other times you lose. But no matter what your cards are in this gamble, whether cloves, spades, or diamonds, remember-never ever play with the heart.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Give Peace a Chance

My family and I went to the mall yesterday to buy school stuff. As expected it was crowded with moms and kids doing last minute shopping. My husband and I were sooooo amazed at the number of choices presented to us just to buy something as simple as school shoes, rubber shoes, school bags???!

It was a battle with the senses and the conscience as well, LOL! I wanted it to be something durable but funky, something classic but not so outdated, of course the bags have to be pink! Sigh, that helped narrow down some of the choices somehow. But then I couldn't help but envy the girls for all the cute-sie stuff they had to choose from. Hubby, being an expert in checking durability and the practicality of it all - helped choose the bag for my fourth-grader. They actually debated with the salesperson on some features. LOL! I steered away from the scene and grabbed my kindergarten to choose a bag for her. It was easy enough - something pink, something Barbie. Done.

Buying the shoes? Well that was surprisingly a breeze. After a few hours, we were done with our shopping. We wanted to hear the anticipated mass at 5pm. So all five of us, including the nanny, run off to the chapel to hear mass. It was a an hour of peace with the Lord and I wanted to savour each moment of it. It hit me, here I was worrying about bags, shoes and school stuff while other people are fighting a much much bigger battle. Peace.

I don't know why but everytime I hear this song during mass it makes me teary-eyed. It's a simple song that spoke so much of our desires and yearning for peace. And as I sang the song during the mass yesterday I surprisingly sang it with so much emotion. It's called One More Gift. Here are the lyrics:


If there’s one more gift
I’d ask of you,
Lord it would be peace here on earth
as gentle as your children’s laughter
All around, all around

Your people have grown weary
Of living in confusion
When will we realize
That neither heaven is at peace
When we will live not in peace

Grant me serenity within
For the confusions around
Are mere reflections..
Of what’s within..
What’s within in me?

If there’s one more gift
I’d ask of you,
Lord it would be peace here on earth
as gentle as your children’s laughter
All around, all around

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
-- Jimi Hendrix

We must want peace to have peace. Let's give peace a chance.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Promises that Keeps

Lately I have very busy getting on with my life. Work takes up most of my hours and my days and as a mom it pains me that these long hours are taking me away, literally, from my children. Sometimes I have to take home some work, just so I could be with the kids longer.

There have been very disturbing things happening not only in my country but also all over the world. The recent typhoon in my country which ruined homes, the devastating earthquake in China and also the typhoon in Myanmar to name a few. Whenever I hear about these things I worry for my children and the people I love.

For the longest time I have this fear of being far away when my children needed me. Like working at the office or I was sent away on a business trip and I won't be able to come save them right away.

I remembered being on duty in the hospital during a disaster. I had no choice but to stay at the hospital and finish my shift as there are patients who also need my help. I just had to content myself calling home every hour to check if all was okay.

Recently I read about this sad story of a 4-month old baby who was saved after the Sichuan earthquake, the child's mother protected her by covering her with her body, she was even able to nurse and feed her even if rocks were heavily weighing her down. A cellphone was placed inside the baby's wrap, there was a message typed there and it says, " Dear child, if you survive, please remember, mommy loves you...forever."

It is at times like these that I cling to His promises...true promises that keeps.

When you say...

“I can’t solve this ...”

God tells you

“I will direct your path”

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

When you say...

“It’s impossible”...

God says,

“Everything is possible”

(Luke 18:27)

When you say...

“I feel all alone...”

God tells you

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

(Hebrews 13:5)

When you say...

“I can’t do it...”

God tells you

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

(Phillipians 4:13)

When you say...

“I don’t deserve forgiveness...”

God tells you

“I have forgiven you”

(1John 1:9 – Romans 8:1)

When you say...

“ I am afraid...”

God tells you

“Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will strengthen you and help you.”;
(Isaiah 41:10)

When you say...

“I am tired...”

God tells you

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest

(Matthew 11:28-30)

When you say...

“No one really loves me...”

God tells you

“ I Love You”

(John 3:16 – John 13:34)

When you say...

“ I don’t know how to go on...”

God tells you

“ I will show you the path”

(Psalm 32:8)

When you say...

“What path does God have for me...?”

God tells you

My beloved son
( 1 Timothy 2:5 – Acts 4:12 - John 3:16)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

On Being Alone

When I went home this evening it was raining. I thanked God I was already inside the bus when it poured. We did not bring the car today, I commutted home. And as expected when it rains there is traffic. As I stared blankly outside the glass window I noticed a man who had on dirty clothes was sitting in a make-shift bed staring blankly infront of him. He looked cold and lonely and suddenly I felt sad for him.

I thought, why was he alone? Did his family abandon him? Or did he ran away? Did he have food? Traffic was a standstill so I was able to look at him more closely. Like always, I started to imagine myself in his shoes. People were walking by, not even giving him a second look. It was pathetic. If it weren't raining hard I would have gone down the bus and given him some alms or maybe something to eat. How lonely he must be feeling not being able to talk to anyone, no one to share his aches and pains. Nothing to live for, really. What story does he have to tell?

I don't know but I always have this soft spot for old people and for children. There is this old woman who I see everyday on my way to work, she is probably around 70 years of age and she is very thin and pale. The first time I saw her I don't know what came over me but I opened my bag and pulled out all the sandwiches I prepared for myself that day and gave it all to her. She was surprised when I handed it on her palms and I was only a few steps away, when I looked back she was already devouring the sandwich as if she has never eaten in days. That broke my heart. I said to myself, what if I gave her a little something to eat each day I pass by?

So the next day, I brought some bananas with me and handed it to her, like always I would look back and I would see her already eating the food. Hmmm, I said to myself should I go a little further and give her some canned goods? The next day when I passed by she was not there. My heart skipped a bit, did something happen to her? Why wasn't she there? On my way to the office I kept thinking about her. The following day she was there! I almost hugged her with delight, instead I gave her a hundred bucks (well pesos in our currency). Her eyes popped open! I wanted her to go home and rest like grandmas are supposed to do and not sit there in the hot sun all day waiting for someone to help.

In this day and age, it's so hard to keep a pure and good heart. There are a lot of things that stop us from helping other people. Cynicism, fear of being fooled, fear of being rejected. But sometimes you just have to let go and let your heart decide. Who knows you could be saving a life.

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” - Albert Pike

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mom's Day!

Today is Mother's Day and like always I planned to do something special for my mom on this day. I planned to have lunch with her today and probably have a massage with her at the spa, or even go shopping. I also wanted to give her some time away from her worries and her daily chores. I wanted her to feel like a queen, even if it were for just a day. And I guess I was also secretly hoping, hubby had something planned for little-old-me!

About three days ago, my husband's aunt died. She was someone close to him, to us. She was the one who gave him away on our wedding day because hubby's mom and dad have passed away already. He had to help take care of some loose ends, his uncle was working in South America so it will take sometime for him to get home. I did not mind that he had to help out. His cousins were all girls and they were still young and innocent about these things, having had some experience when his own mom died he knew what needed to be done. So we ended up spending most of our weekend at the funeral and at the kitchen cooking up food for some guests and family members.

I felt a little sad because we were not together today - as a family and I was not able to treat my mom out on her special day. Nothing happened as I planned. Today I prepared a meal for 16 people for lunch and for dinner. I gave my kids a bath and dressed them up. I made sure that things were running smoothly in the house as we had unexpected visitors coming in and out from the wake. Hubby's uncle arrived today, he had to go to the airport to pick him up. I cleaned the extra room to have them temporarily stay there for the duration of the funeral.

All in all, what I did what I do best...mothering! Ooooops forgot to mention, out of the so many things I planned that did push through? I had lunch with my mom - one on one, in her kitchen, nothing formal...just me and her talking about nonsensical things while she does what she does best also...fuzz and take care of me.

I love you Mom, happy mother's day to you!

Happy mother's day also to all the moms in my blogroll and also to those dad's who act as both mom and dad. I salute all of you!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beach Time!

It's summertime here and I am probably as excited as my daughters at the prospect of going swimming, whether in the beach or in a pool! LOL! In the shops you'll see all sorts of swim gear displayed, swimsuits, floaters, sunscreen. My country is known to have some of the best beaches in the world! We have 7,107 islands, so no wonder I love water so much hehe.

I also love this time of the year because I get to have some bonding time with the family. I would always plan swimming activities all throughout the summer. The sun shining down on your well-oiled skin while you are sipping a tall lemonade and just simply dipping your toes in the water.

I remembered I learned how to swim when I was four. My cousins and I got tired of waiting in the sidelines, we wanted to immerse in the cool blue waters. I knew I probably drank about a pool of water (LOL!) but geez I was pretty determined. I wanted to learn to swim that day and I didn't want to go home without actually learning. And I did! My mom was pretty amazed and scared at how determined I was to learn. By the end of the day I was plunging in and out of the water and I would never forget how good that felt.

Here's a video of some of the cool places and the best beaches here in my country. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did. And out of the 7,107 islands sadly I was only able to visit around 3 or 4. But I am planning to see more and more each year.

MABUHAY! as we say it here.

Have a great summer guys!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Gift

Today is Earth Day and I thought I could give something back by sharing this wonderful message I got from reading the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

It's a video of daily affirmations that could help you get some positive things into your life. Some find it a waste of time but personally I think it's one of the best gifts life has to offer...and it's free! All you need is an open mind.

Today is the beginning of my new life
I am starting over today
All good things are coming to me today

I am grateful to be alive
I see beauty all around me
I live with passion and purpose

I take time to laugh and play everyday
I am awake, energized and alive
I focus on all good things in life
and give thanks for them

I am free at peace and one with everything
I feel the love, the joy, the abundance

I am free to be myself
I am magnificence in human form
I am the perfection of life
I am grateful to be...

Today is the best day of my life!

It's not to say that we have ignore the bad times we experience in our lives, because I also believe that it is getting through these times that helps mold us into better and stronger persons.

However good or bad a situation is, it will change...and if you want to keep it better all the time then choose to make it so.

Love's the only one you've got!

Earth Day

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Wait No More

Opportunities wait for no one - not if you're busy, not if you're absent, and certainly not if you're afraid. - The Philippine Star

As I was growing up I certainly had a lot of influences in many aspects of my life. My mom and dad were my teachers in the School of Life. I was taught that life's opportunities are not handed to you in a platter, it is up to you to make things happen.

Well it was not always easy for me to do that, in fact, up to now I still am not so aggresively pursuing the things I want in life. For a long time, I was only a spectator in my life. I was guilty of leaving things to fate. But life has taught me otherwise. If I wanted to make things happen, I have to move...and move NOW!

A few days ago my daughters performed in their school's elementary graduation ceremony. Eventhough my kids were not among those who were going to graduate I couldn't help but feel teary eyed when the graduation March started to play and the young graduates walked along the aisle. It was as if I was suddenly transported back in time. I was reminded of my own graduation.

I remembered feeling euphoric and so ready to take on the world. I wanted to become a doctor and having been accepted in the best Med School in the country was really mind-boggling! I thought I was on the right track, my life was in sync with my goals. But towards my pre-med course graduation my life turned around. I realized becoming a doctor might not be for me. It entailed time and dedication and you have to be in the best of health. I went on 24-hours duty in the hospital.When I was doing my intership at various hospitals I got sick...almost all the time. But at least I was still in the same field of helping people get well. I took the next best thing.

I was lost after that, the path that I have chosen for myself as young as 3 years old suddenly toppled over. I had to find my way back again. Since I psyched myself to work in the hospital, I had a hard time envisioning myself doing something different. I thought I was going to fail myself and my family. Miserably.

Not! I decided that I could either mope around jobless for the rest of my life or find something I could be good at aside from becoming a doctor and actually get paid! Well it did not happen immediately, like in the movies. But what was more important was IT did happen! It took a lot of my time, a lot of my patience - not to mention my mom and dad's hehe - but it happened. I discovered I could be good at something totally different - like officework and actually excel at it!

As to becoming a doctor, well I play that role a lot of times with my kids and sometimes to my mom and dad. I make sure that they are in good health 100% of the time and I take good care of them when they get sick 24/7. And getting "thank yous and i love yous" in return was surely worth more than money could ever buy.

Interestingly our company's battle cry this year is very interesting and inspiring. Just five words but it could change the way you see your life.

It's up to you. smile

Sunday, March 23, 2008

To be a Woman

There is eminence in being a woman. And this trait is propelled by her desire to live her life to the fullest, setting her goals while being mindful of her surroundings; achieving her dreams without abandoning an attitude of just taking care of herself.

To be a woman is to recognize success with humility, to face challenges with generosity of spirit, to conquer the world with magnanimity.

In her everyday endeavor, a woman uses her heart to discern what is best for her and for the people she loves; her mind, to pre-gauge the impact of her choice; and her soul, to keep her afloat with all the things life has to offer.
~ Bum D. Tenorio Jr

Don't you think that was a pretty good description of us women? I don't think I could add anymore to that.

This is my salute to all the wonderful women of the world. I salute all my women friends, my grandmothers, my sister and most of all my mom.

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by loving. ~ Anais Nin

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Week

This Holy Week I was once again immersed in our family tradition of the "Pabasa" (the Passion of Christ is sang by believers). Here's a picture of our Nazareno (Jesus carrying the cross). The Nazareno, "Mamong" as we so fondly call him was owned by my family for more than 150 years already. It was passed on from generation after generation and we still continue to do this tradition until today.

It starts Holy Wednesday when we would prepare the Karosa where the statue of the Nazareno is held together with Simon carrying a big black cross. A "live" station of the Cross is commemorated along the streets.

When I was much younger the whole clan, mostly the female ones, would be busy in the kitchen cutting away vegetables, peeling potatos, washing plates and kitchen utensils. The kids would be assigned to put sampaguitas in long sticks for the karosa. The male members of the family would be busy preparing the sound system and the altar where it will all happen. Everyone has a role to play, no one was left out, even the little ones. I remembered looking forward to this time of the year because it was also a time where I would meet my cousins again and we would have a great time.

Many people would come over my grandmother's house. Mostly people from the church, our parish priest, bishops, nuns and yup even politicians.

After the karosa has been decorated and the 14 miniature crosses distributed to other houses after the mass our family will be hosting the yearly "live" Station of the Cross along the streets. Before we walked barefoot along the streets as a form of sacrifice. But I guess things have changed a lot as well.

It was was more real to me back then, His passion and His pains. The Holy Week when I was little was more holier than it is now. I remember my grandmother and my aunts teaching us, mostly six-year-olds how to cook, cut vegetables and become very helpful in the kitchen. We were taught not to play, not to laugh so much and be very quiet mostly all throughout the week - as a form of sacrifice.

Today I saw the week as a respite from work, when I could clean the house, remove stuff from the refrigerator, spend time with my family and catch up on some reading and probably watch some DVDs. If my grandma and aunts would see us now they would probably turn in their graves at the way we spend the "HOLY Week". But then for me being with the family is a Holy time. It's a time where I remember that this is the reason why I am alive, the very reason I breath and the very reason why I want to wake up and face the day again tomorrow.

"It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing."

Hope you guys have a peaceful Holy Week.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Simple Truths

Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we're all of us looking for the key. ~ Alan Bennett

Got this from my sister and thought I should share them with you.

I Believe ...

That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

That just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

That you can keep going, long after you think you can't.

That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

That no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.

That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

That the people you care about most in life are taken from you much too soon.

That life is more precious than money will ever be able to be.

“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.” ~ James Dean

Friday, March 07, 2008

Away from Home

It's 2:44am. I have been tossing and turning in my hotel bed for the past four hours. I have been sitting up, fluffing my pillows, pulling up the bedsheets, pulling down the bedsheets, getting into various angles and position but I just can't seem to find the perfect spot. It's not happening. Arrrggggh I give up! I just can't sleep. Why oh why didn't I bring my laptop with me? I am soooooo longing to be in my bed right now. I miss my disorganized room, those familiar homey sounds, I miss my daughters, I miss my honey, I miss home.

I stood outside the small verandah in my room overlooking the streets. The city looked quiet and sleepy. Boy! how I long to be asleep myself. Maybe it was the capuccino I had earlier in the evening at Candy's Resto. As pretty and huge as my hotel room may seem, it only makes me long more and more to be in mine (sigh). It's hard enough being away from my kids over night and since my flight was cancelled due to bad weather I had to stay here another day. Poof! Don't get me wrong this is not really a bad place to be. On the contrary it was surprisingly a very happening place.

I had the best two nights in the city. The first night our host took us out to dinner at this place called Sentro 1850. It was a cozy restaurant, nice ambience and the food was delicious! Not to mention affordable too! I felt bad not having brought any camera with me and I was a little too shy to take pics of our food for my blog using my cellphone. I ordered this shrimp chili pasta and I loved it! They had huge servings. We also had baked mussels with melted cheese on top, crunchy squid and this huge crab salad with mango and wasabe dressing. After that, we were taken to Cafe Berde at the Mallberry Suites, I had espresso macchiato con tsokolate. It was simply the best!

Espresso Macchiato

Crab Salad in Wasabe Dressing

On the second day, since our flight was cancelled we had to stay in our branch office and become useful and err productive. We were not on vacation and having our flight cancelled does not give us the liberty to become tourists. We were there to work. But when the evening came it was time to have fun again. We were again invited for dinner. We had a great time at this chinese restaurant called East Wok, eat-all-you can chinese cuisine and then we had dessert and coffee at Candy's. I had this most delicious capuccino with a dash of cinnamon and this amazing cake called Tartufo - the outer part was chocolate and inside there was ice cream and nuts. Heaven was all I can recall feeling and tasting. Here are some pics I got from the web as I was not able to take some of my own.


Capuccino with a dash of cinammon

Apart from missing my family sooo sooo much it was not such a bad time to be away from home.

"To get away from one's working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one's self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change." ~ Charles Horton Cooley

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sunday Mornings

I was supposed to watch the Maroon 5 concert come Wednesday (March 5) at the Araneta Coliseum. I have waited for months for my favorite boy band to visit my country, but sadly I have to go out of town on a business trip on the day of their concert (sigh). So I guess I would have to bid Adam, James, Jesse, Mickey and Matt good luck and I am very sure they will rock on that day!

Don't worry boys...I Won't Go Home Without You.

This is also re-post of a previous article I wrote way back in 2007.

I love Sunday mornings. It's lazy, it's lethargic and absolutely fantastic. It gives me a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of motherhood. I get to have a late breakfast, linger over my coffee, and wonder how I'll spend my sunday afternoon. Probably tinker away in my laptop and update my blog.

This particular song by Maroon 5 is from the album "Songs about Jane" pretty much describe how today feels.

Here's the lyrics of the song, you might want to sing along.

Sunday morning rain is falling
Steal some covers share some skin
Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
You twist to fit the mold that I am in
But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew
That someday it would lead me back to you
That someday it would lead me back to you

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave

Fingers trace your every outline
Paint a picture with my hands
Back and forth we sway like branches in a storm
Change the weather still together when it ends

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never want to leave

But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
Sunday morning rain is falling and I'm calling out to you
Singing someday it'll bring me back to you
Find a way to bring myself back home to you

And you may not know
That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow…

Lovely jamming with yah guys! Will catch you another time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Talk

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once and by car forever after. ~ Peter De Vries

Okay, so I guess it's inevitable and yup the moment finally came. I felt all gooey and antsy inside. It felt like a million butterflies suddenly decided to take up a rent-controlled lease at the upper east-side of my tummy. Did I look green? Probably. Were my palms sweaty? Leaking, dear. Can I do it? Doubt it. Should I? There is no better time than the here and now. Was I going to faint? Ahhh, most likely. It felt like I was going to deliver the most important speech of my life and dear me, I think I'm going to puke!

It was the moment moms and dads are dreading. It was time to talk the talk. About the birds and the bees and err if kissing could make you cough up babies. My nine-year-old daughter was looking at me strangely with raised brows, as if saying, "Well?". I swallowed hard.

I remembered the very same talk I had with my mom way back then. I thought she was going to faint too! She looked so uncomfortable and green that I wanted to spare her the trouble. You see for the longest time I thought I was err a-sexual (neither a boy nor a girl) but my mom thought it was time for me to realize that I was different from my brother and cousins. And that it was not appropriate for girls to outrun the male members of my family in a race and that it was totally unbecoming of a young lady to be better in skateboard and go-carts and yup even archery! No no no! It just wasn't done.

So I had to sweat it out in that wooden chair while my mom, struggled, ever so poorly to explain to me the wonders of the female body. When I told her, " I got it covered mom, you don't have to tell me anymore." She looked relieved and yes dear folks, scared! I looked at her eyes and read her every thought. How come she knows already? Who taught her? Does she--? Did she--? LOL! And before she suffers a heart attack, I told her "Mom, our science teacher told us about it. Don't worry I'm cool with it." It was only then that she breathed a sigh of relief. "Well okay, just let me know if you have any questions okay dear?". She kissed my forehead and ruffled my long black hair. Ahhh it was over.

"Mom?" my daughter's voice brought me out of my reverie. Here goes nothing! So I proceeded to tell her about er the wonders of the female body and her eyes were growing bigger by the moment. Nope, I did not tell her specifics. I just told her how to take better care of herself in case the time comes. And as I was talking to her, in a level that she will understand I begin to feel comfortable. My great love for her, took over. I wanted her to know as much as her little nine-year-old mind could fathom because I wanted her to be safe and ready for anything. Armed with information, well not too much information, but valuable ones. It was done I made it! LOL! And I did not faint.

I hugged her tight and she hugged me back. Awwwww! My little girl is growing into a young lady. And all of a sudden I feel sooooooo old and ancient.

A little girl was asked where her home was, she replied, "where mother is." ~ Keith L. Brooks

PhotobucketI love you mom!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Power of Prayer

"Seven days without prayer makes one weak." ~ Allen E. Bartlett

The family I grew up with is a family that prays a lot. No, they are not saints! It's just that I grew up knowing that prayer can sometimes - move mountains. As soon as my kids could speak I taught them how to kneel down and put their palms together and utter a prayer. Just like what my mom did when I was still a child. A prayer when I wake up, a prayer when you have meals, a prayer when you go to school, and a prayer before bedtime. And then studying in an all-girls Catholic school well, you can just imagine how many prayer times we had back then.

When I grew up, prayer has comforted me when I was weak and down. It has made me strong and brave too in the midst of aggression and I have uttered a lot of prayers of thanks for all the blessings that came by in my life. This is another e-mail that I received a few days ago, that I loved reading. I hope you will love it too.


Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once. Visualizing the family needs, she said: "Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can." John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family. The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, "Do you have a grocery list?"

Louise replied, "Yes sir." " O.K" he said, "put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries." Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, "I can't believe it."

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:
"Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in you hands."

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said;
"It was worth every penny of it. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs."

"God warms his hands at man's heart when he prays." ~ John Masefield

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marriage Advice - The 50/50 Myth

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. ~ Amy Bloom

Okay, so Valentine's Day came and went and I was not in the least bit surprised to hear some of my married friends lament that they did not do anything romantic on that day. Well, do you see the photo above? That's the bouquet of flowers that my hubby sent over to my office on Valentine's Day! I was sooooo tickled pink with it. I felt so loved and cherished. He took me out to dinner near the bay...just the two of us. And it was sooooo lovely to note that he can still come up with romantic ideas after ten years of being married to each other.

I received this in the e-mail a couple of weeks back and I thought I should write it down here for all my friends, married or not. This sure is an eye-opener!

Would you get frustrated after a long day at work and
as you arrive home you discover a house in total chaos
with your spouse sitting down with kids reading a book?
You've worked hard all day giving 100% to provide for
your family, can't she AT LEAST give 50% and keep the
house clean!

Would your response be different if your wife was
pregnant with twins and needed to rest most of the day?

Or have you ever asked your husband in a frustrated
tone to mow the jungle in the back yard only to
discover he had gotten up early that morning and spent
5 hours helping a friend in need move? Did you
complain that he's not doing his share in the family,
or quietly pitch in to help with the lawn?


Are We A Team?

When we participate on any team, the efforts are rarely
equally divided. For example, there may be 10 people
on a soccer team, but they all need to give 100% to win
the game, not a 10% effort.

The same is true if we work as a team on a project at
work. Based upon our skills and expertise, each team
member may carry a heavier or lighter assignment.
However, to be successful in the project, we each need
to give 100%, or our best effort, to produce the best
work product.

So it would be logical to assume that in marriage
relationships we would realize that it's never 50/50
just because there are two of us.

Sure it would be nice to draw a line down the middle of
the house and say "you clean that side and I'll clean
this side."; or do half of the laundry or mow half of
the yard. However, that is a bit ridiculous to try and
manage, let alone consider.

Then why do logical couples sometimes get caught in the
trap that marriage is a 50/50 relationship?


Give Your 100%

It's critical to realize that sometimes one gives 40%
and the other 60%. Other times both give 100% and so
forth. What may be a 100% effort for me on a bad day,
would be a 30% effort on a good day. The point is to
give all we can and communicate to our spouse if it's
going to be a "lean" or "queen" day.

On "lean days", our spouse will be better able to
understand their need to pull a bit more of the load,
or to not get frustrated if some of the load isn't
carried at all.

On "queen days", our spouse will know they can count on
us to accomplish certain things with ease. The key is
communicating if it's going to be a "lean day".


The Next Level

To take it to the next level, consider the peace,
contentment and appreciation that will flow in a
marriage where we are more concerned with the needs of
our spouse than our own needs.

I'm a mother of 5 kids, so my day starts very early
making lunches, getting my teenager to an early morning
religion class, having my personal devotional and
exercise time and then get the rest of the brood up at
6:10 a.m.

My husband gave me a wonderful gift a while ago. Since
I don't work on Fridays, he decided that Friday would
be "Mom's day to sleep in."

He gets up early to do all the "Mommy Duties", and
cooks a great breakfast for the kids. (Which Mom only
cooks on standardized testing days at school) They
wake up to the smell of sausage cooking and a dad they
don't normally see much of until the evenings.

The first week the kids were absolutely shocked...their
faces were indeed a sight to behold. As this special
day continued week after week, they began to get a
knowing smile on their face as they got ready quietly
so that Mom could sleep in and get much needed rest.
They not only saw, but participated in this family

Yet, this was not just a gift for Mom, it was a
wonderful gift for our children. It spoke volumes of
the love and care that husbands and wives desire to
show to one another.


What Gift Can You Give?

Not everyone has the time, or opportunity to change
roles on a weekly basis. However, there are many
opportunities to give both small and large gifts of the
heart to our spouse.

It's especially fun if you give a gift by doing
something that your spouse would normally, or
"traditionally" perform.

Ladies, the next time the shower drain is running slow,
how about getting on your rubber gloves, removing the
drain screen and getting the goo out of the drain.
(Especially since most of the goo is trapped because of
your hair.)

Men, when one of the light bulbs above your wife's
vanity burns out, take the time to notice and replace
it for her...without being asked. Besides, she's just
trying to look more beautiful for you.

Think of the welcome surprise by the person who
normally makes the bed each morning if they came out of
the bathroom to discover that the bed was already made
for them.

If you normally leave before your spouse, wouldn't it
be a simple, yet an appreciated gift, to scrap ice off
their car windshield?

These acts, though seemingly small, are HUGE in the
relationship bank and will pay great dividends daily,
weekly and for a life time.

So don't get sucked into the myth that marriage is a
50/50 deal. It's 100% all the time, and well worth the
effort. ~ Norie Hoover

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gifts of Love

love is a treasure
for which we can never pay...
the only way to keep it
is to
give it all away

I remember when I was a little girl I loved walking along gardens. It got me excited picking up petals, unusual leaves, weird stones and sometimes small fruits or wild berries. Oh and yes! I would catch dragonflies and lady bugs, it usually makes my mom groan when I get home with them LOL!I would put them all in a box and call them my treasures. I would keep it near my pillow and wait till morning until I could play with them again.

The next day the petals would all be dried up and of course, the dragonflies and the ladybugs would be dead but I don't know it just made me happy to go back again and look for these silly treasures. Now I could not recall what games I used to play, but I remembered pretending those things were real. Yeah, I know, those were the days...silly ones really. But I could not forget how happy I was when I was playing pretend. My mom and dad always told me I had such vivid imagination.

Today, I still like picking up things. Nope! not petals, nor dried leaves, nor strange-looking stones, well okay, a couple of dragonflies and ladybugs here and there - but only because I wanted to show them to my kids! LOL! These days I love to pick up quotes, beautiful words and nuggets of wisdom, if you must. From books, movies, poems, newspapers, sermons from the priests when I go to church, talks with my friends, wisdom from my mom and dad, lines from movies and other people. I guess from just about anything and anywhere and anyone. I have journals with quotes that catch my eye. If you noticed, there's always a quote at the beginning or end of my posts. For me, those few lines speaks volumes of experience and memories.

Tonight I was able to watch a very good film it's called
The Ultimate Gift - if you guys haven't watched it, it's a must see. And for those who already did, I hope you liked it too. It's a story about the death of young man's very wealthy grandfather. He anticipates a hefty inheritance instead his grandfather gives him a crash course on life through twelve tasks a.k.a. "gifts" sending him to a journey of self-discovery.

As for every film that I watched, even if some turned out to be crappy ones or a knock out bestseller I always try to get the good lessons or nuggets of wisdom from it, if any. And this film I got twelve gifts. Here they are:

1) The Gift of Work
2) The Gift of Money
3) The Gift of Friends
4) The Gift of Learning
5) The Gift of Problems
6) The Gift of Family
7) The Gift of Laughter
8) The Gift of Dreams
9) The Gift of Giving
10) The Gift of Gratitude
11) The Gift of a Day
12) The Gift of Love

The gifts are simple ones really, most, if not all of them we already have. I guess putting them into good use is what will make it work for us. But I think the last one is the most important, for it was the love of his grandfather that made him realize something he could never have discovered alone...the gift of love.
Valentine's Day is not only for lovers alone. It is a day we celebrate love in all it's form.
Happy Valentine's Day my dear dear friends!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The life of a Juggler

Last night when I was finally able to put my feet up and lay my head in my pillow, I did a quick re-cap of my life as a working mom. And I cannot help but visualize myself as a juggler.

It is only on weekends that I get to have some down time and just concentrate on being a mom, a wife and err a blogger. LOL! While we were cleaning the room and arranging books into two new bookshelves we bought to organize the kid's library, I came across this January 23, 2006 issue of the Time Magazine. The topic caught my eye, "How To Sharpen Your Mind". I set it aside for my bedtime reading and proceeded to do my other tasks.

This morning I was finally able to flip through it and gosh! there were a lot of interesting topics there too! The article "Help! I've lost my focus" written by Claudia Wallis and Sonia Steptoe really got me going. It was a look into a typical day in the life of Hollywood producer Jennifer Klein. I found a lot of things we have in common and I'm sure a lot of mothers and fathers out there could relate as well.

Here is a view of my typical work-day:

Heart @ 5:30am - Open the water pump and get the hot water running. Hurry back to bed and catch another 30 minutes sleep.

Heart@ 6:15am - Wake up! Kiss hubby good morning to wake him up and go over to my daughter's bed and kiss her good morning too. Dash downstairs fix breakfast, arrange the kids' sandwiches and drinks and also sandwiches for hubby and myself (no breakfast for me @ home since there's not much time)

Heart@ 6:45am - Take a quick shower! Usher my sleepy daughter into the bathroom to give her a bath (it's quicker that way) and get her ready for school. Yes, she has a nanny but this is something I wanted to do for my daughter since I won't be with her the whole day. (I guess I wanted her to remember that her mom is here for her no matter how busy she is.)

Heart@ 7:00am - Turn my daughter over to her nanny to have some breakfast. Again, dash upstairs fix the beds, take out my clothes from the closet and lay hubby's clothes in the bed too. Then as quickly as I can, get dressed, grab my youngest daughter's things for school. Bark out instructions to my nanny for my daughters' lunch and dinner and schedule at school. And then rush off for the office.

Heart@ 8:30am to 5:30pm - Gulp down my coffee and sandwich in my work area (that is if I'm lucky and not called into a meeting). And gosh, I cannot even begin to describe how my day goes by in the office. It is sometimes a blur to me.

It is mostly spent answering e-mails, talking to angry clients and agents, editing letters, signing this and that, negotiating at meetings, mentoring my staff, checking and monitoring if all is going well as scheduled, talking to my boss, meeting with people from other departments regarding on-going projects. Call my mom and my nanny to check on the kids. Call my hubby, just to say hello and "I love you" (need to hear that everyday so I can survive the rest of the afternoon). And yes, manage to squeeze in lunch and another coffee break in the afternoon. And then the whole thing starts all over again.

Ahhh, they say that is a life of a multi-tasker and yes we parents are jugglers in our own little way. In the same article I also found psychiatrist Edward Hallowell's "A Multitasker's Glossary" very interesting. Here are four new words I learned from him.

screen sucking - wasting time online long after you have finished what you signed on to do.

frazzing - frantic, ineffective multitasking, typically with the delusion that you are getting a lot done. The quality of the work, however, is poor.

pizzled - how you feel, when someone you're with pulls out a cell phone or BlackBerry and uses it without an explanation or apology. A cross between p___ off and puzzled.

doomdart - the internal distraction of a forgotten task that pops into your mind when you are doing something else. A side effect of frazzing.

Staying focused on one thing at a time is something we parents, especially working moms, find very hard to do. That is why I think it is very important to have time away or even down times at work to renew and recharge oneself, otherwise we might end up burned out and too busy for our family. The reason why we are working so hard in the first place.

Clock “Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” ~ Harvey MacKay

So, let's spend it wisely!