December 2014 on Instagram

| Posted in Instagram Monthly

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While others are already posting new year’s resolutions, I’m letting December linger a little bit longer, just like our Christmas decors which are still all over the place. (We’re giving it another week, haha.) I have a renewed love for Decembers, I think I’ve said that enough, and I loved how festive and colorful Instagram and Facebook have been.

Aside from the Christmas decors and gifts, last December was highlighted by our Cebu adventure, my husband’s birthday, and lots of time with loved ones and family, lots of slowing down and resting up. I think I’m going to miss this month the most.

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So I take one final look at the past month, one deep breath, and finally, one step forward. Bring it on, 2015. Bring it on.

 

51/52: Christmas Gifts

| Posted in Dawn & Rain, Faith Walk

Photographs of our twin daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014.

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It’s true what Jodi once said, something about this project feeling like a countdown of sorts. Here we are at Week 51 of this 52 Week Project, and I still can’t believe how fast the year has gone by. Here are some photographs from the night before Christmas, which, by the way, also went as fast as it came.

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It wasn’t exactly an easy Christmas season for us, having to move to a new apartment at the start of the month, with all the packing, and cleaning, and transitioning. Our yaya went away for a holiday break too; which means my husband and I had to divide the house chores among ourselves on top of everything.

Just the same, we have learned to embrace these occasional opportunities to spend quality time as a family, just the four of us, especially during this time of the year.

It’s been a tough month, but just one smile, one song, one hug from these little humans and everything becomes a lot easier to bear. We wrapped them some presents and placed them under the tree, but the truth is, they are our real Christmas gifts.

“Children are a gift from the Lord,
they are a reward from Him.” ~Psalm 127:3

This Psalm has never been more real to me than now. More specifically when the children are throwing a fit, or being unruly, and there’s a pile of dishes and chores and tasks waiting to be dealt with. I keep going back to this verse to remind myself that these children are gifts from the Lord. They are a reward from Him! And indeed they are. No amount of chaos in the house can take away the sense of wonder and amazement that God has “gifted” us these two happy, curious, energetic children that we so love.

And then again there was this beautiful Child, who was sacrificed as a ransom for our sins, and it blows my mind all the time, especially now that I’m a parent, to realize how huge of a sacrifice that was for our Father in Heaven. Surely, nothing can top that priceless gift we have in Jesus Christ, if only we would open our hearts to receive Him.

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Merry Christmas!

Behold, the photograph that became this year’s Christmas e-card. Smile, Dawn! :)

I hope you had a meaningful Christmas yourself, one that’s filled with happy children, meaningful conversations, quality time, lots of hugs and kisses, God moments, unspeakable joy, love. 

51 sets of photographs down, one more to go. This is it. See you soon, 2015.

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

50/52: Cebu

| Posted in Dawn & Rain, Destinations, Faith Walk

Photographs of our twin daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014.

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It was a weekend of firsts. First plane ride, first Cebu trip (for David and the kids), first boat ride, first island-hopping experience. We’re happy to have an “excuse” to try out flying, something that we’ve been putting off because we were unsure how to handle long trips and plane rides with two toddlers. When our cousins who were visiting from Australia (you’ll remember them from these posts), invited us for a long weekend in Cebu, we knew we just had to take the plunge. And we’re soooo glad we did.

You realize time and time again that you have to dare to get out of your comfort zone, otherwise, you wouldn’t really know what you’re missing. And that Cebu trip was just that for me. It began with a truck load of worries and fears, but it ended with ZERO regrets and a mental smack in the head for even worrying at all.

We had a lot of favorite moments from that trip, but these photographs were from our island-hopping experience, which the kids reallyyy enjoyed.

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Remember their first time to swim and they didn’t like it? This time around, in Cebu, the girls loooooved it! They loved walking on the beach, they loved swimming in the pool, and true enough we had a difficult time pulling them out of the water.

The Cebu skies and seas, and the company of this family we love, were good for my soul. There were so many personal realizations, God moments, divine revelations, and a hundred reasons to praise God for.

Thank you, Ninong Mitch, Ninang Dots, Jonah and Zaki! We’ll remember this trip forever. “Jehovah-Shammah”, we won’t forget. ;)

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

49/52: December Wedding

| Posted in Dawn & Rain

Photographs of our twin daughters, once a week, every week, this 2014.

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December 1, 2014. The same old story: It was a special day (it was my cousin’s wedding), in a special place (back in the good ol’ Fernbrook Gardens), and I made sure to bring our bulky DSLR in hopes that I could capture blog-worthy moments. In the end, of course, my plans were once again overruled by these toddlers who can’t seem to stay put in one place!

Good thing, our photographer friend, Ian Fornoles, had some great shots of the twins from that day. Thank you Ian! 

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A beautiful day and a beautiful wedding such as this one is easy to remember, with or without the photographs. Just the same, I’m glad we get to take home memories from that day, and from a professional photographer no less. (Score!)

A little word about the photographer—I’ve seen Ian grow from a little boy running around our church into this remarkable designer and photographer that he is today. I’m so proud of this guy, and would highly recommend him for all your lifestyle and wedding photography needs. Visit his Facebook page, you guys, and check out his work.

All photographs in this post are by Ian Fornoles Photography, except for the first one, which I took with my trusty iPhone.

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

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s 2015 Giving Journal

| Posted in Paper Stuff

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Giving Journal 2015

I have a thing for paper and journals and calendars and to-do lists—they keep me going, they inspire me to be productive, not to mention, they actually make me productive. This 2014, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf‘s Giving Journal was my planner of choice, and it was a choice that got me right up to the very last page. This little black book kept me sane all year! And because it can fit whatever bag I carried, it went with me wherever I went.

Now, looking at the pages of my 2014 Giving Journal is like looking at a quick summary of 2014. It was a great productivity tool for the whole year, and now it makes for a good memorabilia of the year that was. Tiny tick boxes with checks and x’es mark the things that were accomplished and tasks that were set aside for later. Movie tickets taped on its pages, which are remembrances of those much-needed date nights. Washi tapes that marked holidays, design projects, special occasions. Bible verses scribbled on the pages’ margins, marking God’s go-signals, affirmations, and revelations. And sometimes, empty pages that marked days that were spent doing nothing.

This 2015, the CBTL Giving Journal was made even better. The size is bigger, giving more space for note-taking and more room for making plans. There are 4 colors to choose from (purple, green, orange and brown), and as you can see, I picked the brown one! ;)

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Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Giving Journal 2014 and 2015

One other thing that Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has done extremely well last year was the community they built around this planner. The #brewyourbestyear and #brew2014 hashtags are widely used across various social spaces, and have become a source of inspiration for users and non-users alike. Their Facebook and Instagram pages are filled with quotes and prompts and beautiful imagery that will inspire you to create more and be more and dream more.

The best part is knowing that beyond the pages of this little book, CBTL is able to support less fortunate families by sending select children to school, which is the very essence of The Giving Journal.

In the words of our CBTL’s CEO: “The concept is very simple—it’s about reminding people that they can make a huge difference in their own and other people’s lives by growing to become the best version of themselves—to realize that their lives are brimming with opportunities to share and then prompt them to give back. As we all look forward to 2015, it is my sincere prayer that the Giving Journal can help all of us brew our best year, and that we will always be moved to love, give and serve.” Read more about it here.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Giving Journal 2015

I got mine quite early this year, sometime towards the first week of December, much thanks to the awesome people at Coffee Bean. If you haven’t decided yet what planner to use this 2015, I highly recommend CBTL’s The Giving Journal! It’s straightforward, it’s handy, it comes with lots of inspiration, and the design and typography are pretty awesome.

You have until January 11, 2015 to collect stickers and enjoy Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s yummy holiday drinks! The Red Velvet Ice Blended drink is my favorite. :)  (more…)

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