The 2017 Year-End Survey

It’s already February. A bit late to be posting this, I know. But between this survey and the other year-end reflection, I was more inspired to write the latter. 😉  But I do this every year so might as well keep up the tradition. And so that I’ll have something to look back to years from now.

So here it is… The Long-Overdue Year-End Survey of 2017!

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? Undergo Rehab/traction for my bad back. 😮

Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year’s resolution was a healthy 2017, and it was major FAIL!!!! 😮 I weigh my heaviest yet. I sprained my foot, and suffered from a bad back. And then there was the state of my mind and my soul. 😯 And though I declared “Health” to be my theme for 2017, the year culminated with the word “Remember.” For this year 2018, my One Word would be “Delight.” 🙂 Not empty happiness. But one of joy and purpose, meaning and fulfillment. 🙂

Did anyone close to you…
Get married? Jeriel & Marvie (Nov 18)
Give birth? Can’t think of anyone right now
Passed away? Sister-in-law’s brother, but I barely knew him.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? Strength, of body, and of character.

What date(s) from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Nov 18 – a family wedding, where Elmo was the ring-bearer

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Living through it 😮

What was your biggest failure? Neglecting my Faith. And everything went downward spiral from there. 😮

Did you suffer illness or injury? Yes! I sprained my foot, which affected my ambulation. And my spine must have compensated coz I developed a bad back after. Even the slightest cough and sneeze hurt. X_x Had to undergo traction and PT for it. On the mental/emotional aspect, I was good for the most part until Elmo got sick, and I became a nervous wreck.

What was the best thing you bought?  Books mostly. And clothes, because I got bigger. 😮

Whose behavior merited celebration? Can I say, mine? 😛 Hindi naman sa pagbubuhat ng sariling bangko, but I’m glad I was able to pull myself through.

Where did most of your money go? Travels.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.
Out of town travels to Cebu, Dumaguete, Baguio.
UAAP Men’s Basketball Season 80 for the UP Maroon’s almost-Final 4 Finish, and exciting ADMU-DLSU Face Off in the Finals.
Ring-bearing Elmo. 🙂

What song(s) will always remind you of 2017? Baby Shark!😛

Compared to this time last year, are you…
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? FATTER @_@
Richer or poorer? Richer

What do you wish you’d done more of? Pray.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Doubt.

How did you spend Christmas? At work.

Did you fall in love in 2017? Yes.

What was your favorite TV program? The Lion Guard, on Disney Junior. 😉

What was the best book you read? Rogue One, the official novelization of the movie. I luv that movie! IDK what that says about my psyche, since it is a tragic movie where they all die in the end. It’s been often said that Rogue One is what puts the “war” in Star Wars. Because yes, beyond the family drama of the Skywalkers, there is a bigger power struggle, one that involved many nameless, faceless rogue ones–the unsung heroes of war–who hoped and fought for their beliefs.

What were your greatest musical discoveries? Baby Shark. 😛

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Boxy shirts with big sleeves. Pants. Flats/low-heeled shoes.

What did you want and get? Elmo’s better health.

What did you want and not get? A fit and healthy body. 😛

What was your favorite film of this year? Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Was in Cebu.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? More Faith. More time with God.

What kept you sane? Faith and family.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Elmo, as always. ❤ Rey & Poe Dameron on TLJ. 😛

What political issue stirred you the most? The Dengvaxia scandal @_@ Atio Castillo 😦

Who was the best new person you met? Pseudoshrink and Sharkteeth

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

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Our Wedding Playlist

Celebrating our 6th Wedding Anniversary today. ❤ Went through our wedding album (with Elmo asking, why he wasn’t there. 😛 ), and watched our same-day edit. Can’t help but reminisce over the events of that day when I married the man of my dreams prayers. 😉 It wasn’t “flawless,” and I could actually go on and gripe about many things that didn’t go exactly as *planned*. But I got everything I prayed for, right from The Groom to the great weather, walking down the aisle with my parents, dancing with Dad, to getting married itself. 🙂 It’s been one exciting experience, too good to be true, and I can’t believe it actually happened to me.

One of my gripes was our wedding video (Note: NOT SDE!). It turned out to be a disaster, with songs I don’t even like thrown into the mix, i.e. “I’ve Finally Found Someone” by Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams—I don’t hate it; I just don’t like it v. much. 😮 I wanted a lot of OPM (who wouldn’t be moved by their lyrics, so poetic and sincere? 🙂 ) I was certain I emailed the video editors my song preferences, but the final product turned out to be different. The editing was also baaaad. So I thought about compiling our Wedding Playlist, in an attempt to salvage as many beautiful memories from that day. And nothing stirs the emotions as powerfully as music. 🙂

Ever Ever After. From the movie, “Enchanted.” The first time I heard the song, I resolved: “Balang araw, pag kinasal ako, gagamitin ko itong kantang ito…” 😛 I’ve watched our SDE hundreds of times, and it never gets old. I may be biased, but it could also be the happy music and the timeless words.

Ngayon at Kailanman. My wedding march. I like the original Basil Valdez version, and had one of our ninongs sing it, to a piano accompaniment by his wife, also our ninang, while I walked down the aisle. I especially like these lines:

“Sa bawat araw ang pag-ibig ko sa ‘yo liyag
Lalong tumatamis, tumitingkad
Bawat kahapon ay daig nitong bawat ngayon
Na daig ng bawat bukas”

Two Words (I Do). This was our first dance as a married couple. And it was made more special and meaningful by Terci’s siblings’ performance. His sister played the piano, the second brother played the violin, and the youngest brother sang it. Too bad, the videographers failed to capture it. 😦

I Loved Her First. By Heartland. I am just so so SO GRATEFUL AND BLESSED to be able to dance with my Father on my wedding day. He has suffered from multiple strokes, you see, and I feared that the stress excitement of the day might cause his blood pressure or his sugars to shoot up. So for him to be able to walk me down the aisle and dance with me is a wonderful blessing. ❤

A Mother’s Song. This one didn’t make the cut. I only discovered it a couple of days before the wedding. It wasn’t as accessible at that time, and was only available as a purchased download from T Carter Music. Still I’m putting it here coz it’s such a heartwarming song. 🙂

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. By Johann Sebastian Bach. The processional. I was also considering Pachelbel’s Canon in D, but it’s too ubiquitous.

Pag-Ibig (Di Ko Malimutan). By the Apo Hiking Society. One of the songs we played during the pictorials/recessional.

Panalangin. Also by the Apo Hiking Society. Also for the pictorials/recessional.

Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko. Originally by Rey Valera, but I preferred the more upbeat version of Noel Cabangon. 🙂

Happy listening! 🙂

Remembering 2017

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s the last day of the year. I missed posting the usual Christmas Wishlist. Didn’t feel like asking for too much this year. Instead, I want to give praise and thanks to God for everything that He has blessed me with, especially in the past year. Not that I got everything that I want (there are still so many things I desire and pray for). But I don’t want to appear ungrateful in the midst of His blessings, sustenance and tender mercies in my life.

I don’t let on much in this blog about things happening in my life. Too personal, and even I haven’t figured things out as they were unfolding. Going through my private journal, my entries there were fragmented, incoherent and long-winded. I vacillated between petitions, to uncertainty and questioning, and then prayers again. This is my attempt at making a cohesive piece out of those broken thoughts and experiences.

Continue reading “Remembering 2017”

Holiday TBR

Today on the The Broke and Bookish’ Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Winter TBR.

We haven’t got winter this side of the world, but I’ve gotten hold of a few books. Here’s hoping I get around to reading–and finishing–them during the cold holidays (what holidays? 😯). Otherwise, this list may very well be Tsundoku Part Two. 😛 (Part One is here.)

Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo. Sequel to her best-selling “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which I have FINALLY finished reading and can now strike off my tsundoku list. 😉

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The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doide.  The human brain was traditionally thought of as unchanging, with specialized parts and specific pathways. Recent advances in science, however, have shown that the brain is capable of regeneration and reorganization.  The premise sounds cerebral (pun intended), but the stories are more personal than academic. The narratives go beyond medical research. You have ACTUAL PEOPLE (not lab rats and guinea pigs) and REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES (not controlled experiments), who have recovered from their injuries and in the process, have debunked previously held notions about the brain. It’s kinda hopeful, actually. 😉 Here is a fantastic review of the book.

The Upward Spiral, by Alex Korb. This book was deeply quoted in a Business Insider article. It still applies the above principles of neuroplasticity, but is more focused on emotions. 🙂

The Confessions of St. Augustine.

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The C.S. Lewis Signature Classics.

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Red, Hot & Spotted

Recently been from Dumaguete. I intended to blog how nice and laid back the city is, how Elmo enjoyed our nature trek, our adventures in the airport, and finally meeting the phenomenal Pseudoshrink and her sassy daughter Sharkteeth. But upon returning, work caught up with me (having been away for 7 days). There were the series of lectures at the local college. And to top it all, Elmo fell ill and was hospitalized. 😦

Continue reading “Red, Hot & Spotted”

Birthday Reflections

It’s my birthday today! And it’s my biggest “celebration” in a while. We’re not really big on birthdays, you see. In previous years, we just have dinner, just our little family of three; sometimes, we are joined by a handful of friends. It was always small, cozy, intimate, nothing grand.

This time, our family’s spending it in sunny Cebu. 😎 This is my first time to be out of town for my birthday. Though technically, it’s not a vacation coz we’re here for a conference. But any break from my usual routine is very much welcome. 🙂 At the least, I don’t have to worry about making the bed. 😛

bday pic
This was at the breakfast buffet. My friends’ told the servers that it was my birthday, so I got subjected to the customary “flash mob” singing. Quite embarrassing really. ^_^;;
elmo bday cake
It was actually the little boy who enjoyed himself more while the staff were singing. 😛

While in Cebu, we met up with Terci’s relatives who are now based here. Also met up with one of my longest friends from high school, Rita. We never really lost touch thanks to technology, but it’s still different and much much better to catch up in person. 🙂

On the whole, it was a wonderful day. And a better year even. There are still the little things I am wishing for, and the bigger things I AM PRAYING FOR. But it’s been a better year thus far (compared to 2016 which was very tiring and discouraging! @_@). I feel that I have got a renewed sense of Faith and purpose and gratitude. I hope things continue feeling being this way for a very long time.

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Placebo Effect

I sprained my right ankle. I have just gotten off the car and stepped on the sidewalk. My right foot must have slipped off the edge, twisting it and sending me and my bag flying on the floor. My left shin actually broke the impact of the fall so I didn’t land on my face. But I fell, nonetheless.

My husband, who have just dropped me off, was keeping Elmo in place, when he noticed the crowd beside his car. And Elmo was peering curiously at the window, “What is Mommy doing?” That was when he saw me “sprawled” on the steps. (I’m such a klutz, y’know. I’ve fallen off stairs and potholes and grassy slopes, in Manila, in Cebu, in Thailand. 😛 )

Terci went out to help me as I hobbled into the car. When I got in, Elmo bombarded me with questions. “Mommy, what happened?” “Mommy, why did you fall?” “Mommy, why did your bag fly?” “Mommy, does it hurt?” “Mommy, are you alright?” And then he went down and got hold of my right foot.

“What are you doing?”

“I will kiss it. :-* There, it’s better now Mommy.”

Whenever Elmo would hurt himself, he’d tell me to kiss and sometimes massage the painful area. And almost magically, he’d feel relief. Placebo effect? Still not fully myelinated spinothalamic tracts? Central modulation of pain?  Some signals diverted to the dorsal columns? Whatever the mechanism, it sure does wonders. 😎

And despite the searing pain, I couldn’t help but smile. It still hurts a lot (I couldn’t stand on it, and had to crawl up the stairs to get to the bedroom), but Elmo’s little gesture sure brought me comfort. ^_^

BAGgiedala atbp.

Ah July! My favorite month, my birth month. A valid time for me to unabashedly ask for things I want. 😛 So here it is, my 2017 Birthday Wishlist! Thank you very much in advance. 😉

This Dagne Dover classic tote. 💼 My daily tote’s handles are fraying along the edges, so I’m scouting for a new bag to replace it. I need a roomy bag, but without the little things drowning and getting lost in the mess. I like how the Dagne Dover tote has many compartments to keep things in place and organized. The design is clean and classy. I want one in bleecker blush or onyx.

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And while we’re at it, this matching Dagne Dover wallet and pouch.

I’d also like a fruit infusion water bottle. 😉

 

A rash guard and legsuit, to cover up my unsightly parts for when I decide to join my little penguin.

A pair of white Keds sneakers. I think leather would be less dumihin and easier to clean. Whatchatink?

Muji storage drawers!

That’s it for the material things. The real birthday wishlist is WEIGHT LOSS! 😛

My Little Penguin

Oh Hello Blog! We meet again. It’s been a while, I know. Been trying to sleep early and cut back on idle Internet surfing. @_@

Enrolled Elmo in swim class. Classes are at 3 PM, every Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both Terci and I have got work, so we had to make major adjustments to our schedules to accommodate Elmo’s lessons (Terci more than me. Being the swimmer between the two of us, he is the one who joins his son in the water! 😛  Frustration nya actually na hindi ako marunong lumangoy. 😛 He tried teaching me and then later on, gave up had me enrolled in formal swimming lessons. I never completed the course! I only lasted til the 5th or 6th session. 😛 Kaya naman career si Terci na matuto si Elmo. 😉 )

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Elmo was initially afraid of the water. I was looking at photos and videos of him when he was younger, and he would really cling as if for dear life whenever his Dad brings him to the water. On the first day of swim classes, he cried during the most part, and didn’t want to leave the pool’s edge. After much persuasion and encouragement, he finally went down into the water… just as the session was wrapping up and his classmates were already getting out of the pool. His teacher was kind enough to allow him to sit in the next class. 😉

But now, they always go on overtime in the pool. Formal classes are only 30 minutes, but they extend even an hour beyond. To date, Elmo can already hold his breath underwater and propel himself. But he still has to learn how to rise above the water and breathe. He also has to build up on his upper body strength.

I meet with them afterwards and we all have ice cream together. I hope someday to be able to pick up from where I left off, and be able to join my boys in the water too. 😎

Being Truly Rich

Was chatting with a friend the other day. Our conversations usually revolve around money, careers and retirement, savings and investments. No, he does not sell insurance! But he is business savvy and enterprising; I am amazed at how he is brave to embark on various moneymaking ventures… which turn out to be lucrative, mind you. And these are all perfectly legal, btw. 😛

Lately though he’s been feeling overwhelmed and is contemplating on retiring early.

“What is the measure of being rich?” he asked. I am amused at how our conversation suddenly took a philosophical turn.

Continue reading “Being Truly Rich”