What made me fall in love in the first place

Warning: This is an utterly cheesy post. But I am writing it anyway (and publishing here!), just in case in the future I will forget how I fell in love with my husband – and how crazy I went. You know, past the honeymoon stage, so much practicality takes over one’s marriage (add kids to the picture) and we can easily fall to the trap of losing the memory why you are married in the first place.

I can strongly remember the first time I exclusively spoke with my husband, I got easily drawn to his character – so much gentleness, humility, and kindness towards me. So genuine goodness. And as you know, I am some sort of a strong-willed woman who’s not used to this type of simplicity of character. So this is like finding a vanilla cupcake amidst a glorious bunch of dark chocolate ones.

I don’t believe in sparks or magic or love at first sight. But I knew right there and then that what I felt was something I have absolutely never ever felt with anyone before, even with past boyfriends. I used to deny this to myself back then, thinking that ALL LOVE is just the same. We can feel the same feelings we felt before. But I knew deep inside, he was different. THIS is different.

And when I realized I have fallen in love with him, there was no stopping me or us. I went for it – with all my heart. I was just so madly and crazy in love with this guy, thinking he is really a nice one. But my eyes were also open to our realities. I knew we were two different people coming from different backgrounds. But it was like meeting your soul mate. It’s okay. It’s fine. We can work it out.

And so we did. One by one, things fell into place and our relationship grew even stronger. Although, there were times when I wanted out because I felt he can sometimes take me for granted. Maybe because I wanted us to have more time together. It came to a point when I no longer get it why we should be apart. Maybe, because we were truly meant for each other.

I remember the passion, the “always looking forward to see him again” feeling. The first few months had my phone beeping non-stop from his texts. I remember spending a whole day at work, in front of my pc, but phone in my hand – so busy answering his messages. I was not working at all!!

Fast forward – and now we’re married + 1 kid. Most days we talk about house chores, schedules, plans, money, and work projects. I get annoyed by his little idiosyncrasies I can’t stand. Until now, I cannot be ok with his laziness to take a bath/brush his teeth. BUT despite all these everyday annoyances – I.always.want.him.around.

I still love being with my husband – beside me, inside the little home we made. With or without our child.

I’m writing this down to remind me. In case there comes a time I no longer want him around. Or forgot why we are with each other.

I pray that that won’t ever happen.

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How to know if you’re fit to work from home

I once received a private message from a former superior who wanted me to join his team. Since I have found quite a balance of work and family in my life stageĀ  now (thanks to the blessing of working straight from the house), I respectfully declined the invitation. It was really tempting because the offer was good and the work seemed manageable. However, I knew in my heart that I fought long and hard to really attain not just my work from home job, but a lifestyle that I authored myself. He understood my decision but made a comment that doing corporate is good plus I have the skills – so it’s a loss. While he only meant well, at the back of my mind I found myself saying that ‘It’s quite the opposite, really. I believe it’s a bigger loss if I will just exhaust my talent and time working for someone else instead of building my own thing.’

The Anxiety that Comes with Quitting your Day Job

I understand a lot of people who are quite anxious to quit their day job to pursue a work-from-home career. Whether one gets hired full time or part time working remotely from home; or become a full-fledged freelancer, or a home-based entrepreneur – there’s a lot of breaking-down-the-comfort-zone-wall that will take place. But despite the anxiety, a lot of people (especially home makers) go for home-based work because of lifestyle goals, childcare issues, and yes – the passion to create something of their own doing.

If you honestly feel that you want to try this out but scared of jumping in, I’ve got a few pointers to help you decide. But remember, the number one rule is: There’s no certainty in life. There will always be that risk involved. So it’s better to find out early if you are up for this type of career.

Let’s answer the question: How to know if you’re fit to work from home?

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1) You are a self-starter.

Being at home offers a lot of temptations to go slow on the deadline, settle for a mediocre output, or simply skip work all together. Television, Internet, your bed, and even your own hobbies can easily put out the fire of wanting to start. Therefore, the number one trait that you need to posses if you seriously want to make a living while in the house is to be completely self-motivated. Despite external factors, within you lies the drive to get up and do work. I’ll be honest to say that there are days when I just want to lie in bed or play with my daughter the whole day. But I know that at the end of the day I’ll beat myself for being unproductive. That’s the kind of motivation that I think keeps me going a lot of times.

2) You can follow a routine – that can be flexible at the same time.

It’s a misconception that when you work from home, you can choose when and when not to work ALL THE TIME. While that is possible, the bottom line is your ability to stick to a healthy routine. Especially when you are aiming for a balanced lifestyle, you would have to create an hourly schedule to allow time for priority areas: spiritual, health, family, work, not to mention housework, as well. If you don’t have a routine you will most likely fail in this type of set-up because a routine is a good motivator to finish tasks on time (see point #1).

On the other hand, since there would be a lot of distractions while at home versus the regular office job – one must also posses flexibility. You need to bring your child to the pediatrician but there’s a looming deadline – be flexible. Chop and spread out your tasks within the week so you can attend to both; or eliminate the less urgent ones to make time for your kid. When an unexpected friend or relative drops by, have a pre-planned strategy: In short, make a routine that is also open for the unexpected. That’s flexibility.

3) You’re not big on losing some social life because you just love staying at home.

If you’re not the party-goer or the one who needs peer interaction during the day – this won’t be much of an issue. It really boils down to how well you know yourself and your level of social tolerance. Since I’m a home buddy and my social life is my one-year old daughter presently, this setup is just right for me.

4) You are a good financial-steward.

As you will most likely be giving up the shelter of a bi-monthly salary once you become a freelancer, there is much to be said about being disciplined in your financial systems. The good thing about it is you are the one who will decide on how much you are worth based on your output — not the office position that says this is how much this job should pay. But just in any kind of freedom, you have to be smart in budgeting your income especially when there’s waiting time involved in remittances, bank transfers, and the like. It’s also a good reminder for you that from now on, you will be paying for your own health insurance, and other government and social security contributions.

5) You are passionate with your craft and has the motivation to CREATE and CONTRIBUTE.

This is one of the major reasons why I really pursued a work from home lifestyle. If you’re like me who desperately wanted out of the office cubicle thinking it’s so much waste of time being stuck there instead of pursuing an independent career — then this could be the dream job for you. If you have the passion to create something out of your own resources in order to contribute to the greater good – be it for family, church, economy, or the whole of humanity – then, my friend… this could be it!

As a Last Note:

I wouldn’t say working from home is the best job in the world. It has its own advantages and disadvantages. After all, there ain’t no perfect job. And by this time, you probably understand that it’s not for everyone. It isn’t the right career path for all of us. Again, it all boils down to your lifestyle choices, priorities, motivations — and most importantly, your own self-knowledge.

May you have the life that your heart desires :)

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Celebrating Summer’s First Year

Just like any mother, we want to make our child’s first birthday really special. However, I perfectly know that Summer would absolutely not remember her first birthday. And it is most likely that 80% of the guests would be adults. For sure the kid won’t actually enjoy it.

Her birthday falls on a Holy Tuesday (April 15th). So naturally we would be celebrating it on Easter Sunday (April 20th). So I thought Easter could be my go signal to really throw a party in celebration of the Lord’s rising + Summer’s 1st! And what better way to do this but to share the blessings with the less fortunate.

My husband and I decided it’s going to be a Gawad Kalinga (GK) birthday party for Summer!

GK Kids

With our SFC friends, we invited the GK Kids – a community we used to serve in when we were still singles, to celebrate with no other than…. Jollibee!

Meron bang batang hindi nakakakila kay Jollibee?

10299504_10203794915302515_1898366933_nI knew it was going to be a blast for the kids!

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Here they are enjoying the “Langhap-sarap” Chicken Joy + Spaghetti meal!

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I think the host was under a bit of “happy” stress because 80% of my guests were kids!!

Kabog ang parlor games!

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At Jollibee Shell Macapagal, they had a nice set-up. I love the colorful roll of fabric hanging from the ceiling.

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We chose the Hello Kitty theme because of the pastel colored banner – just perfect for an Easter theme

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Jollibee parties are mom-convenient and stress-free. BUT – of course, I wanted to try my hands on a few DIY projects. Jollibee is understanding enough to give room for moms who want to add their own personal touch on their child’s party. Naiintindihan naman nila ang kaartehan ng mga nanay!

It started with the flower pom-poms…

photo…. that ended like a classic Pinterest disaster, hehehe!

It’s supposed to hang on top of the Hello Kitty banner – but it was too ugly to display. Even the crew (politely) agreed! I wanted to throw it away but daddy was creative enough to just use it as part of the cake table’s decor :)

photo 3Now here comes the best part. I love loot bags! Auntie Matel accompanied me one Saturday to visit Divisoria to pick up party supplies. That’s when I realized all those online-selling party suppliers are extremely upping their margins! Never believe that their party designs are hard to find – because these things abound in good, o’l Divisoria! From Chevron prints, to polkadots – name it! They’re all there! And they don’t look cheap at all – just their price tags. Go to 168 Mall – 1 floor down the food court and you’ll find this mom haven.

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In keeping up with the Easter-polka dot theme, I packed chocolate Nips candies, 8-piece crayon boxes, coloring books, pencils w/ fun erasers, mallow pops, and Easter chocolate eggs.

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I slowed down on the sweets because I wanted each bag to contain more of the activity/educational items.

For only P1,250 party fee that includes a Jollibee mascot, you have a choice whether you want to order loot bags from Jollibee (P60/each) or bring your own. I think my bags cost around P45/each. Total savings.

My mom bought the cake for Summer. I didn’t order one from Jollibee. I garnished it a bit with some chocolate Nips candies + Summer’s Easter egg toys :)

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For her age, Summer isn’t directly interacting with the kids.

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But I can tell she’s happy to see a lot of little ones all gathered in one place! I hope when she grows up, she’ll remember that she celebrated her first birthday with the GK kids. And that she’ll keep it in her heart the value of giving.

967731_10203794958383592_534964500_nOf course, this cannot end without the must-have family portrait with the Philippines’ most popular bubuyog :)

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Countdown to 1!

Summer is 11 months old

Summer is 11 months old

How time flies and my little miss is turning one year old this April! I can still remember that day when I delivered her into the world. It was the most life-changing event of my life. And how can I forget the many, many weeks when I lacked sleep – but still went through regular motherhood programming.

First time to smile with us for a shot! What a darling! 6-months old

First time to smile with us for a shot! What a darling! 6-months old

So true is the adage that the “days are long, but the years are short.” I can only be grateful to God who has provisioned us all through the difficult times. I used to pray for a full-time work from home job before Summer turns a year old – because I knew by that time she’ll be so needy of me. And God has fulfilled it with His impeccably perfect timing!

As parents, we always pray for our kid’s health and protection. So far, Summer has been spared from major sickness and disease (and I hope she’ll forever be so). Given that I couldn’t breastfeed her, she has turned out to be healthy and active – to the point of my exhaustion hehe. But I don’t mind :)

Lots of people say she’s a good girl. Summer can be left alone playing by herself. And she can now express herself more – so it gives everyone a clue what she wants without her throwing a big tantrum.

She eats almost everything! PG kung PG (as in Patay Gutom)! I hope I won’t ever get into feeding troubles with this kid. She eats her solids pretty well now.

Walking barefoot :)

Walking barefoot :)

Retrospecting, I can say that first-time motherhood is “survivable”. You don’t actually need to lose your sanity. I can only be thankful to all the people who helped us cope with it – our families, friends, brothers and sisters in our community.

A part of me cannot wait for Summer to grow up because I know she will be the kind of person God wants her to be. But at the same time, I am also left wanting for more… more time to spend with her… more time to enjoy her “babyhood” until I am ready for the next stage.

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WAHM Now

ImageNew title for me. After a long wait, I’ve finally landed a job that allows me to stay at home with the baby. The setup is perfect, but it is not without work and time challenges. I still report to a boss, and I still log my hours. Not to mention adjust to a culture different from the nice Aussie teams I’ve worked with :)

I can’t complain though. I knew in my heart I am always destined to thrive working in the home space.

God is really good. His timing is always on time.

My only wish (as in final na talaga, Lord!) that one day, maybe before the year ends… I can be my own Wahmeo.

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SONA of the Year: Happy 1st Year Wedding Anniversary to us!

So the past couple of months my brains and hands have been away from my blog (because apparently, some life-consuming job practically took over everything!), I am now back to blogging with a good reason – I cannot miss writing about my first year as a wife.

My dad has been waiting for me to do the SONA (State of the Nation Address, as we know it in the Philippines), but this time it will be something related to my first year of marriage.

So here we go..

Can I just say that I simply cannot relate to women in their first or early years of marriage who are still going head-over-heels-still-swooning-over-their-husbands. Nothing wrong with that though. In fact I think that’s the norm, sort of what they call the “honeymoon stage”. And so I wonder if I am the “odd woman out”. Because to be honest, my mind and heart have loooooooong been past that stage of rose-colored glasses. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m still very much in love with my husband. He is after all, the one I married and the love of my life. But it’s much more than that teen-age romantic feeling of honeymooners. What I believe is that our love has grown stronger, purer, and more honest than ever.

It is bare without the frills. It is real and present not because of, but in spite of. It feels a lot of things… but it sees more than it feels – and it accepts it as it is.

In my first year of marriage, I understood that it is a daily calling to be unconditional. Humans as we are, that is most challenging. How can you throw your expectations for a co-equal/co-partner out the window that easy? I once saw a scene in the movie Did You Hear About the Morgans, that you are supposed to expect EVERYTHING from your spouse! Why? Because you are lifetime partners forever. So I don’t believe in marriages that are always sunny or rosy. Marriages that are never threatened or challenged. Maybe there are no such unions, but to me reality has happened sooner than later.

We don’t really argue or get into conflicts often. In fact, I can only count the times when we really had fights. But our married life isn’t always of romance and the feel-good-one. I think it’s more of a roller-coaster-ride where there are days when the ride is pleasant and exciting… and some days when it’s just horrific.

I for one is not perfect (and so as my husband). I joke him by saying that you’ve married a wife who’s half goddess, and half monster! Haha! Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the time frame of honeymoon then disillusion. In my case, I think it’s a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly shift in climate. And that is perfectly fine with me.

Because early on, I have faced the reality of marital imperfections. And I’m thankful that there are more days that we as a husband and wife were able to overcome them.

I don’t believe in happy couple selfies. Because what we don’t see behind them is the reality of constant love-and-conflict that makes a marriage more real and enduring.

End of SONA. I hope I hear some applause :)

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My Baby is 6-months Old!

How time flies and my little one is now 6-months old!

Feels like it’s also some kind of an achievement for me because that means I am half-way through the year of being a mom. Mommyhood sounds like my favorite chapter of life as of present time. It has revealed my strengths (and weaknesses) unknown to me before. And it has also put my energies into some worthy direction, hehe!

Enough about that. I am blogging today to document some of little Summer’s photos. Thanks to my husband who has been an eager photographer lately :) Sorry for this image-overloaded post!

Summer’s Milestones at month #6:

Can sit with support
Enjoys eating her Cerelac groups 1,2,3
Grabs and holds toys – and puts them inside her mouth!
Makes squealing sounds to get attention - assertive, kid!
Recognizes familiar faces – especially mommy and daddy
Plays by herself with her playgym
Rolls over and can settle on her stomach
Sleeps less during the day, but sleeps through the night – Yes, God is merciful!
Likes being read to and loves holding/eating her books
Smiles and laughs at the silliest antics
Enjoys the outdoors – especially on weekends!


First time to smile with us for a shot! What a darling!
First time to smile with us for a shot! What a darling!

This has got to be my favorite photo to date. Melts my heart :)

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life! – Albert Einstein

 

 

 

 

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