Archive of ‘Married Life’ category

11/52: Full Circle

Photographs of our daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014. Week 11.

Our little family

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Fernbrook Gardens

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11/52: The four of us, back in the place where this whole journey began.

One Saturday afternoon in March, my husband and I took the twins with us to a wedding at Fernbrook Gardens in Alabang. The wedding was beautiful, and my husband was reunited with some of his friends from New York who were here for the wedding too. What can I say, it’s always good to reunite with old friends and to revisit old places.

Meanwhile, the girls totally loved running around the place! There was so much space for them to explore, new things to see. And in typical mommy-and-daddy-of-twins fashion, we followed them around (often in opposite directions), pulled them here, carried them there, wiped their dirty hands and knees while the ceremony was happening. Anything, as long as you’re happy, darlings.

A nice cool breeze accompanied the golden hour; making it the perfect time to take photographs and to just.. bask in the love and the memories of that place. I longed to tell Dawn & Rain stories of that day, except of course they wouldn’t understand or remember a thing. At least not yet.

It was the same venue of our wedding, almost 3 years ago, and for the first time since then, we’re back.

Full Circle

We’ve come full circle. Wow.

Full Circle

How do you handle days like this? It’s one of those days you wish you could just step back and watch your life from afar, rewind and replay over and over again. I was just getting married here! How did it all go so fast?

Full Circle

Fernbrook Gardens to me will always be a place where dreams happen. Once we were just standing there, committing our lives to each other before God and our loved ones. And suddenly we’re back with these two little girls who happen to be the greatest validation of the decision we made 3 years ago. What a milestone! I’m glad I took lots of photographs. This one’s definitely for keeps.

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here.

7/52: Everyday is Valentines Day

Photographs of my daughters, once a week, every week, in 2014. Week 5.

52 Week Project

7/52: Dawn & Rain

7/52: Dawn & Rain

7/52: Dawn

7/52: Rain

Dawn & Rain: Loved these heart-shaped balloons we bought from a street vendor on Valentines Day.
Dawn: Marched around the house holding her balloon the whole night, squealing in delight.
Rain: Liked her balloon too, but she seemed to like to spend time with her Daddy more. #myheart

It’s been a month since these photographs were taken, please bear with me on this dated Valentines post. I remember receiving flowers from D that day, and cooking dinner for him, and getting out of the house to run errands together, and then chancing upon a street vendor who was selling heart-shaped balloons.

I guess you can say that it was uneventful by traditional standards. But I realize now, when you’re older (or when you have kids), that V-day is just another day, and you can make any day Valentines Day anyway. Just like now, when I suddenly thought about posting these photographs. :)

At the risk of sounding like a bad Hallmark card, everyday is Valentines Day in this house!

7/52: Dawn

Dawn’s captured moments could totally pass off as stock photos don’t you think?

More about Project 52 here. View all posts in this blog series here. Linking up with Jodi.

30th year with you

Allow me to post this before the month (and the year!) ends.

Once upon a time, I was not very fond of Decembers. For me, Christmas season was the saddest of all holidays; like, there’s something melancholy about it that I couldn’t quite point my finger on. But just like the many things that changed in my life, the month of December has become merrier and brighter through the recent years.

Evidently, much of this can be attributed to the addition of this guy in my life, whose birthday happens to fall right smack in the middle of the Christmas season.

Bud's 30th birthday And then these two girls were born, and suddenly everyone’s birthday feels like it’s their birthday. My, Decembers have never been better than this.

Highlights of D’s 30th birthday

30th birthday with TG

30th birthday with TG

We were at our bible study group’s blue-and-orange Christmas party the night before his birthday. Totally unintentional, this year’s color motif lends itself well to the birthday boy’s favorite NBA team, and he was happy to have the excuse to wear his New York Knicks shirt..

Favorite Shirt

..which is, obviously, his favorite shirt. (He was wearing the same shirt on his birthday 2 years ago.) Haha. Funny coincidence.

30th birthday with TG

We surprised him with a birthday cake as the clock struck 12mn, and  once again we feel blessed to have friends who would, well, wait around ’til past midnight to celebrate special days like this. Thank you, Thursday Group. And special thanks to our friend Jasper, for decorating his birthday cake with robot candles. Very 30-years-old. :)

The rest of his birthday looked like this:

Bud's 30th birthday

Christmas sunrise worship, tapsilog for breakfast, home-cooked meals, a coffee date to cap the night, the gift of time.

Except for the birthday cake we had in Thursday Group’s Christmas party the night before, I managed to stick to his birthday non-cake tradition. Three years running, LOL. First it was stacked pancakes, then it was donuts, and now, this:

Happy 30th birthday, love.

In my defense, I’d looove to buy him a real birthday cake, or maybe even bake him one.. but he hardly eats cake! Either it gets spoiled in the ref, or I end up eating the whole thing, which is bad for my new year’s resolutions, lol. Maybe someday, when Dawn & Rain are big enough to finish Daddy’s birthday cake with me. :)

Thank you, 2013

2013 is the year both of us turned 30 years old, and surely it was the year where we learned the most meaningful of lessons. God blessed us with opportunities to trust Him even more, to live simply, to be content, and to place other people’s welfare above our own.

30th year is a beautiful year in and of itself. As an added bonus, I get to go through this journey with D, to see him grow, and to witness up close what God is doing in his life. What a blessed year indeed. I wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

Sweet Novembers

And so the past month ended with us attending a beautiful garden wedding, and I knew we couldn’t have said goodbye to November any better.

My husband and I doubled as dessert buffet suppliers and invited guests to a friend’s wedding, and we have loved the excuse to take out his coat and my gown from the back of our closet and dress up for an unusual Saturdate.

Christmas in November

It almost felt like stepping inside a different world!

Fernwood Gardens has changed a lot since the last time I was there. The glass garden is still as lush as ever, but they also opened a lounge area with a country feel in it, complete with a collection of vintage things. (I was completely blown away seeing an Underwood up close!)

It was the same venue of my brother’s wedding in 2008, and I remember inviting my ex-boyfriend to come be my date, but he was halfway across the world and naturally, was unable to make it.

Fernwood Gardens

Five years later, I was back in the very same place, this time, with him.

Can you tell I’m still swooning?  (more…)

Rainy days and Saturdays

I thought the sound of rain I was hearing a while ago was from RainyMood. Turned out it was really raining outside.

There was this particular rainy Saturday a few weeks ago when Lolo Tatay (from my husband’s side of the family) took us up for the twins’ first Tagaytay trip. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but here are some moments captured with our phone camera.

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We didn’t know we were going to Tagaytay that day, which explains why the twins were not dressed right for it. Thank God for their jackets, which we always bring with us wherever we go. For the first time, the effort of carrying those hoodies around finally paid off. The rain poured while we were on our way, and it continued to pour while we were having our lunch buffet and afternoon coffee at Taal Vista Hotel.

I don’t like the traffic, the inconvenience, and the floods that often come with rainy days. Not to mention the horrible news about people evacuating because of the floods. But I can’t deny it—I love days like this. I love the sound of rain (it inspires me to write, or do something creative), the cool breeze, the smell of rain, the sight of rain water on wet pavement.

And I love rainy days especially when they’re spent with family, a cup of coffee, and maybe a good book.

“Rain” is an illustration of blessing and abundance in the Bible. Back when we didn’t know we were going to have twin girls, in fact on that particular day we found out we were pregnant, we already knew that we were going to name our firstborn “Rain”.

I can continue listing down reasons why I love rainy days so much, but to make this post actionable, here are some unusual suggestions on how to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon:

Go on a roadtrip.

For real? For real! I suggest you don’t go too far, but go somewhere. If you’re in the south area, go ahead, go for Tagaytay. The point is, get out of the house. Note that this is applicable on rainy Saturdays only, and more specifically, not when there’s typhoon ha. Go on a roadtrip when most people would rather tuck themselves in and curl up in bed. Rainy Saturdays often mean empty establishments and less traffic.

Eat some ice cream.

I know the usual thing to do is to grab a cup of choco or a bowl of soup on a rainy day. But magnifying the cold by eating something cold works too. Back in New York, my husband loves eating ice cream on a winter day. Just for the thrill (and the chill) of it.

Get married!

Two of my friends had their garden weddings rained out. But the rain didn’t ruin their weddings, in fact, the unexpected rain made the experience even more romantic! So instead of planning your wedding to fall on a summer day, why not totally plan to have it during the rainy days. Take it from this girl who’s wedding got rained out. Rain could be the best thing that can happen on your special day. ;)

However you’re spending these rainy days, I hope you’re doing it with people you love. Have a great weekend! :)

What September reminds me of

This post was inspired by a couple of things. (1) Timehop, (2) This day being Friday the 13th, (3) Septembers, (4) #throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday and (5) This guy I shall call “J”, who my husband and I have been exchanging letters with since the start of the year. More about him later.

Based on my Timehop, the past Septembers have been full. I already blogged why I love Timehop. It’s a mobile app that pulls out posts and photos from your social networks, from the exact same day last year and the years before that, putting them together in this one message alert that you receive every morning.

Since the start of September, my Timehop has been on a roll. It inspired me to go over my journals, my blogs, and those old boxes that held some of my most treasured memories from the past Septembers.

September 1, 2006: We went to a rock concert.

D was ending his one-month vacation and flying back to New York the next day. As a final date, he took me to Penshoppe’s Denimlab Rockfest. What can I say, those were the kind of things I dig back then. At that time, we were just friends.

September 2006

Photo: Couple selfie taken inside Araneta Coliseum that night. (Uso na selfie nung 2006.)

It’s been 7 years since that September night, and most of what happened then has become a blurry memory. But I do remember Imago singing their song “Akap”, my song for the night. I remember riding a cab after the concert and hearing the first Christmas carol of the year. I remember having coffee at Starbucks, Pearl Drive, until past 2am. I remember blogging about the concert. I remember D walking me back to my apartmenta moment that he managed to preserve in a song. And I remember struggling to say goodbye, not knowing that he was going to be my boyfriend one year later. (And my husband much later.)

September 9, 2010: We got engaged.

For the first time since he left Manila in September 2006, he’s back, and for a reason. I made sure to document that time of our lives, not wanting to forget a single day.

September 8, 2010

And you probably already know what happened.

September 13, 2010: We spent the night at the Hong Kong International Airport.

Ending his one-week vacation here, he had to fly back to New York, with a 12 hour layover in Hong Kong. Crazy as it may sound, I bought round-trip tickets to Hong Kong just so I could spend those last 12 hours with him. Ahh, young (stupid) love!

And hey, that was the exact same day as today!

September 13, 2011

Photo: Taken while having breakfast at HK International Airport, an hour before his flight.

Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through all of these unnecessary torture, LOL. It was the saddest day ever, sending him off, alone in a foreign place. And yet I made the choice (and spent a ridiculous amount of cash), if only to spend a few more hours with him. As soon as his plane took off, I ran to the other side of the airport, and boarded my plane back to Manila.

It’s been 3 years since that bittersweet day in HK!

And the rest was history.

September 2011 – We were married.
September 2012 – I was pregnant, half-way through my 3rd trimester.
September 2013 – Two ten-month old little girls are crawling around the house.

September 13, 2013: Friday the 13th

And here we are today.

Three long-stemmed roses from the husband are on top of my desk as I write this, and the twins are playing, screaming, and making a ruckus around the house. Looking back at the past Septembers, I can only laugh at all the silliness, and be thankful for the long-winding road that lead us to this day.

This is for J

(A guy my husband and I have been exchanging letters with, who first messaged us through this blog.)

The point of this backtracking exercise is to acknowledge and appreciate how far the Lord has pulled us through. You may have read this blog from cover-to-cover (or page-to-page), and it may look like we had it easy. But there were long days, months, and years in between those dates I mentioned above.

In between those stories were long periods of uncertainty. Nights when we felt like giving up (and nights when we actually gave up.) Prayers that weren’t answered the way we expected. Days when it seemed like God didn’t care. Times when we were so sure we would never get back together ever.

We messed up, many times. We were impatient. We struggled to do things our own way. We had too many sidesteps and God had to pull us, break us, tear us, hurt us, so that He could keep us back where we’re supposed to be.

I pray that you find the courage to make better choices than we did. God knows the desires of your heart, He knows what He’s doing, and someday, you’ll see why you have to shed a few tears right now. :)

Still so in love with this guy

Two years married and I have some things to report. First, married life is still as awesome as I thought it was a year ago. And second, I’ve never been happier, and you know I don’t use the word happy lightly.

I thought I should apologize for the next paragraphs, but nah, I’m not sorry. So I’ll warn you instead: Cheesemaxx ahead. :D

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Happily Married for 2 Years!

Photos from our anniversary date at La Creperie Boheme

Five years of on-and-off LDR and 2 years of marriage later, I’m still so in love with this guy.

Two years ago I married my best friend, my most avid and loyal suitor, the guy who wrote me love songs and spent too much dollars on overseas calls.

Last year I found him to be the kindest and sweetest person in the universe, a loving husband, a ministry partner and leader I’ve grown to look up to and respect, my personal nurse who held my hand through pregnancy, childbirth, and all the big and small milestones in between.

We’ve seen each other through ups and downs, and I have to say, even in his bad days I sometimes find him adorable still, knowing that his crankiness can easily be solved by one thing—food.

And then he became the cutest Daddy ever, a hands-on caregiver to our twin girls, their favorite playmate and Veggie Tales buddy. I didn’t know it was possible to love him more until I saw how he’s like as a father. It feels like getting to know a new side of him, and I realize that it really is possible to fall in love with the same person over and over again.

He’s the one person in the world I can tell my dreams and thoughts to without the fear of being judged. He’s my voice of reason, my prayer warrior. And lately he’s the business partner I can endlessly discuss ideas with for our little business, who stays up late nights tying ribbons and crafting decorations, who carries boxes of jars and candies with me through rainy days and warm afternoons.

He’s the person I dream with, laugh with, pray with. Nothing has felt more right than this.

On the day of our anniversary

..he came home with these:

2nd Anniversary Flowers

And although I’ve told him many times to not buy me flowers anymore (the simplest bouquet costs almost as much as a pack of diapers or a box of formula), I realized that it still made my heart flutter the same way it did 3 years ago, when he was sending me flowers from half-way across the world.

The flowers have already dried, but this small card that came with it remains tucked in a place where I could always see:

Dear Riz, Thank you for loving me for the past two years, and the time before that, and the time after today. I love you then, I will love you always. Bud.

I didn’t write him a card. Unlike him, I couldn’t put it all eloquently in one sentence, how thankful I am that he chose me, love me. I had to write it in two blog posts, which took me a week to do.

After our anniversary dinner the night before, we spent the rest of our anniversary at home, no time and budget for an out-of-town getaway like last year, but mostly unable to celebrate too far from the girls. Still a beautiful day, nonetheless.

The fascination never ends

Last Sunday we went out to buy diapers. He left me in the supermarket to pay for the diapers while he crossed the street to buy us some take-out food. I waited for him to return, and as I watched him cross the street, under the rain, holding an umbrella with one hand and a brown paper bag with the other, I held my breath for a moment and my heart leaped in its cage.

This is the guy I married? Di nga, I’m married to this guy? Wait, I’m married? To him? I smiled, mighty proud at my good taste (ha!), but mostly relieved, and thankful to God that I ended up with this guy and not with anyone else. The fascination, and the occasional disbelief, never ends.

Happy anniversary, ex-boyfriend. You’re awesome. I love you.

2nd Wedding Anniversary, Part 2.

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