Monthly Archives: January 2012

Jason Wu x Target

Get ready, ladies!  A new designer collaboration is set to hit our favorite bullseye store…Jason Wu for Target!

Here’s a sneak peek of his upcoming collection:

Mellow Yellow

Prim and Proper

Romantic School Girl

Naughty-cal and Nice

Don’t they look so pretty and feminine?  If charm is not your thing, I think these pieces can be easily made edgy when paired with a motorcycle jacket or some metal accessories–that’s how versatile they are!

Clothes aren’t just the only items that fashionistas can look forward to in this collection.  There are also a selection of bags, scarves and outerwear (read: coats and sweaters) to choose from :).

Boy oh boy, I can’t wait for these lovelies to be available!  Word on the net is that the collection will drop on February 5th both in store and online!  That’s like, in a couple of days!!!  Woohoo!  My credit card is ready to do some damage!!! :)

Images via: Glamour, madamenoire, dopefiles, fashion.elle.com

The Newborn Baby Gift Guide {Feeding Essentials}

Thought I’d post another Newborn Baby Gift Guide :).  Today’s essentials will focus on feeding.

Because feeding is one of the most important things that a newborn baby does, it’s crucial for mommy to be equipped with the right tools.  Whether a baby is breastfed, mixed fed or bottle fed, there are certain essentials that every newborn baby cannot do without.

I breastfed A exclusively for 2 months.  While it was quite a traumatic and painful experience for me, I tried to do it for as long as I could because I knew that my milk would be the best nutrition for A.  It was also a way of bonding with her that I truly cherished.

I remember that one of the things that helped me the most when I was breast feeding was my nursing pillow.  I used the brand Boppy, because it was the one I was most familiar with.  It really helped me to hold A firmly, and it kept her lying down in a comfortable spot while I was feeding her.  It also helped me from developing achy arms because it provided my arms support and a place to rest during the entire duration of the feed.  The only thing about the Boppy is that you have to be sitting down while you’re using it.  There are other brands like My Breast Friend that have a strap attached to it so that you can also nurse with support and convenience while standing up.

On A’s second month, my entire family was scheduled to go on a cruise in Europe.  While I was devastated to be away from A for so long, I was determined to keep my milk supply strong so that I could return to breastfeeding her when I got back.  Even though I knew it would be difficult and it would take a lot of commitment, I decided to pump my milk for the entire duration of the trip.  Hence, my breast pump, became my best friend :).

If you are a mobile mom, like me, it makes a lot of sense to get the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump.  It is very convenient because you can pump hands free.  It also comes with a rechargeable battery, so you don’t even need to be plugged in  during the entire session.  This was particularly useful for me when we’d be on a bus and it would be time to express my milk.  I could discreetly hide the breast pump behind a scarf or my jacket and express away!

Unfortunately for me, when I got back home, A no longer wanted to latch on :(.  After trying for two weeks, I eventually gave up and decided to spare myself (and A included!) from the frustration.  I continued to pump my breastmilk, although A no longer got it directly from me, but from the bottle :(.

It’s a good thing that prior to my leaving on the trip, because I knew I was not going to be physically present to breastfeed A, I had already begun my search for the perfect baby bottle.  Unfortunately, there are a gajillion and one different types of bottles to choose from nowadays, so I pretty much narrowed my choice down to the ones that reduced the incidence of colic, was similar in shape or feel as the mother’s breast and nipple (which, according to my readings, makes it easier for the baby to transition), and one that A actually took to.  We ended up choosing Tommee Tippee.

Tommee Tippee is a multi-awarded brand of feeding, changing and playtime products.  Their bottles are designed to closely mimic natural breast feeding.  This was the actual draw for me and what convinced me to try these bottles out.  It not only features an anti-colic valve on the nipple that helps to decrease the build up of air and vacuum inside the bottle, but the nipple itself claimed to flex and stretch much like a mother’s actual breast.

I heaved such a sigh of relief when A took to it right away, so I had no problems with that :).

Being a particularly OC and praning first-time mom, I was very conscientious about sterilizing all of A’s feeding stuff.  We were gifted with an Avent sterilizer, which was not only compact, but extremely easy to use.  This is one of those essentials that is practical and basic to newborn babies.

Ofcourse, after sterilizing, you’ll need a drying rack to hold the bottles and other feeding items until their next use.  While we chose a basic, functional white one from Dr. Brown’s, there are so many more stylish and modern-looking ones that are now being sold in the market.  My favorite is the Lawn Countertop Drying Rack by Boon.  The design is super cute, and it is compact enough not to take up so much space.  If you live in a teeny tiny apartment like we do, space is a luxury so best to choose items for baby that take up the littlest room–if at all possible!  Hahaha!

When feeding babies, it’s also necessary to have bib and burp cloths at hand.  I stocked up on bibs from Carter’s for Target.  There are many other cute brands to choose from but by far, my favorites are the Dwell Studio’s Bib and Burp sets! During her baptism, A’s Ninang M gifted her with the Gio Lemon set.  It matched her hooded towel and stroller blanket perfectly!!!  So cute!

As an alternative to burp cloths, many moms also choose to use white cloth diapers.  This is another staple that I definitely cannot do without! I use it as an alternative towel for A, for wiping her snot, as a burp cloth, to wipe her sweat, as a blankie, etc. etc.  It is a practical gift that babies will use not only everyday, but even well into their toddler years! :)  If you are planning to give these as a gift, you can have them personalized or monogrammed with the baby’s name or initials as well!  It doesn’t cost much, but it adds a load of charm and elegance to the diapers :).

So there you have it, my list of feeding essentials!  Do you have any other ideas that I’ve left of my list?  Please do share!!!

1. Dwell Studio for Target Tulip Boppy

2. Lawn Drying Rack by Boon

3. Tommee Tippee Bottles

4. Medela Freestyle Breast Pump

5. Dwell Studio Gio Lemon Bib and Burp Set

6. Avent Sterilizer




I am Loving…

Hand-written Stamps!

Image via antiquariadesignstudio.bigcartel.com

Image via lettergirl on Etsy

Image via Primele

Image via clairebock.blogspot.com

Image via antiquariadesignstudio.bigcartel.com

These stamps are so elegant and beautiful in all their swirly glory!  I.WANT.ONE!!!

Unfortunately, writing by hand is a dying art :(.  I will rue the day when hand-written letters and cards are no longer being sent, and instead are replaced by computer or machine generated ones.

There is something so warm and personal about someone’s penmanship, and knowing that time was taken to write down and compose words.  In this day and age, however, our fast-paced lifestyles make it almost imperative that we switch to more efficient ways of communication.  Sad :(.

I myself have not totally surrendered to technology, and still prefer to do things the old-fashioned way such as writing my schedule and appointments in a planner, writing out Christmas cards (and sending via snail mail!), jotting down all my notes in a notebook, and even doing my own calligraphy for party invitations!

These stamps are a good go-between, however :).  Not only are they less time-consuming than actually having to hand write information one at a time, they also still give a touch of personalization and charm :).

I am totally loving these stamps!  Should I “gift” myself with one for my birthday?  Tempting!

Upcycling

What a nifty idea!!!

I love how the bike was literally “upcycled”–it adds so much personality to this powder room :)

I also adore the black and white checkerboard floor tiles, and the white brick walls.  Instant cool.

Image via houseoffiftyblog.blogspot.com

The Newborn Baby Gift Guide {Clothing Essentials}

As a new mom, I’ve been asked on occasion by my non-mom friends about gift ideas for newborns.  I used to think that buying stuff for babies was a bit tricky because babies don’t really do much except eat and sleep.

The good news is that, despite their “limited” activity, there are a gajillion and one things that newborn babies actually need–essentials, if you’d like–so there are many options to choose from.  This list is an attempt to give you some suggestions, and narrow them down–whether it be for your own baby, or a relative’s or friend’s.  This is in no way a professional opinion, but more coming from my first hand experience and personal preference.

I’ve decided to devote this entire post first to clothing–the most practical and go-to present for many.  In my succeeding posts, I’ll run through other baby essentials such as items for feeding, playing, lounging, etc.

Clothes

Onesies and Tie/Snap-sides: I really love looking at babies who look so fresh and clean.  My clothing of choice for A?  White, cotton tie/snap-sides and onesies.  Before she was born, I invested in a lot of these during a trip to Target in the US.  I think they are very practical and a staple in every baby’s wardrobe.

When I brought A home from the hospital for the first time, it was a bit scary for me to put the onesies over her head (I was afraid of suffocating her!) so the tie-sides were a great alternative.  Eventually, I got the hang of it, although I still preferred the ease of the tie/snap-sides.

What I love about these types of clothing is that it comes in short-sleeved, long-sleeved, or sleeveless versions :)!  In my case, however, A had a tendency to perspire easily so I stocked up on the short-sleeve and sleeveless kinds :)

If you’re giving these as a gift, go the extra mile and have them monogrammed or embroidered with a unique design!  I think having the baby’s name or initials sewn onto the garment makes it more personal and special :).

And here’s another tip–if you’re like me and you hate ill-fitting clothes even on babies, you can opt to buy preemie sizes instead of the newborn ones (depending ofcourse on the size of the infant).  When A was born, she was so tiny that the newborn onesies were totally huge on her!  I had to wait till she was about a month and a half old before she actually filled into her onesies.

Snap-Up PJ’s: Although I would not recommend these for sleeping, a baby can also use these for going out, especially when going to a place with air-conditioning or cooler climate.  Not only can it keep baby warm, but it can also protect from insect bites.  Just make sure you choose ones that snap rather than zip so that when you have to change the baby’s diaper, it will be much easier!  I got A’s PJ’s from Old Navy.  In Manila, you can find an assortment of PJ’s in Rustan’s and Mothercare.  Check out the selection at Dwell Studio too!  Their PJ’s are the cutest!

Sleep Gowns: One of the most precious things for both parents and a newborn baby is sleep.  Hahaha!  After long bouts of crying and feeding, once a baby’s eyes finally closes, you’ll want to keep them closed for as long as you can–hahaha!  In the case of A, trying to do that was a bit of a challenge because every single noise or movement, no matter how small, would wake her.  If you can keep these disturbances to a minimum, the better your chances of not waking a baby up from his or her slumber.

The trickiest part is at night.  I used to have A wear the snap up pajamas which I thought were sooooo cute, but really difficult to get her out of!  I don’t know how many times I woke her up trying to get her feet out of the leg area just so I could change her wet diaper :(.  That’s why when I came across sleep gowns, I thought they were just the best invention ever!  Hahaha–I know, exag!  Changing A at night became more of a breeze, and she could go on with her sleep being uninterrupted.  More sleep for A = more sleep for mama and dada!  Hahaha!  The best part is that some versions of the sleep gowns have garterized bottoms.  It keeps the gown from riding up during the baby’s sleep :).

Socks/Booties: These are very helpful in keeping baby’s toes nice and warm.  I prefer socks to booties, especially because they come in so many cute designs!  I really love the ones that look like Mary Janes or ballet flats–they add instant chic to A’s outfits!  Just make sure that they fit very well, though, otherwise they’ll keep falling off :(.

For everyday wear, I stock up on  a lot of plain white crew socks from Shoe Mart.  They sell it at extremely affordable prices so no need to feel guilty if you lose a pair!

Leg Warmers: Both functional and fashionable, leg warmers can be used to protect your newborn baby’s legs from mosquito bites.  When your baby gets older, it can also be used to protect his/her legs from scrapes when he/she is learning to crawl.  I got A Osh Kosh, Burlington and Pitcheco brand leg warmers.  They are available in the sock department of every major department store in Manila.

Mittens: Usually babies are born with very sharp nails, as in A’s case.  For fear that she may scratch herself and because I myself was scared to cut her nails, encasing her hands in mittens was a must!

Hats/Bonnets:  To protect baby’s head from “hamog“, especially at night, hats or bonnets are essential.  Again I got a whole bunch of them at SM where they come in all sorts of colors and designs!

Sweaters/Cardigans/Hoodies: It’s important to keep babies snug and warm. Otherwise, they can catch a cold and get sick.  A sick baby is not only painful to see for every parent, but also quite difficult to care for.  So making sure that they are always dressed appropriately for whatever kind of weather is key.

I always make sure that A has either a cardi or a hoodie packed in her baby bag just in case the temperature drops unexpectedly.  I prefer the ones that either zip or button in front, again, for the ease it brings.  They have really cute cardis in Zara, and I’ve also bought some from Debenham’s.  Recently, I went on a shopping spree in Mothercare, and they also have a wide selection of hoodies, cardis and sweaters, that any mom would go gaga over!

So there you have it–a list of clothing essentials for newborns.  Again, this is only the first in my Newborn Baby Gift Guide series.  Stay tuned to my blog for more upcoming posts on this topic!

I must thank my friend L, who gave me this fun and brilliant idea!  I had so much fun putting this list together!

*Photos via: Shiela Catilo, Old Navy, comeonilene.wordpress.com, natureshop.co.nz, kaboodle.com, purebabylove.blogspot.com, organic-baby-resource.com, thesleepstore.com.au, thefind.com, lesliescustomcrochetshop.wordpress.com

Perfect Match

As I am writing this post, I am drooling :p.

If you are obsessive compulsive like me, you are gonna LOVE the collaboration between Martha Stewart and Avery!  It is an entire line of home and office supplies (read: notebooks, folders, labels, etc.) that not only provide simple solutions to our organizing woes, but also give us great looking products that are beautifully and innovatively designed.

This partnership is definitely a match made in organizing heaven, and I cannot wait to get my hands on these particular items:

Labels--I ALWAYS have use for these :)

Not just your run-of-the-mill sticky notes :)

Super cool-looking filing boxes

Dry-Erase Decals--how very earth friendly!

This line also includes file folders, journals, and desk accessories, among other things.  They will be exclusively available at Staples very, very soon!  I can’t wait!

Proud Mama

My daughter is 16 months old.

How time flies, huh?

I remember her birth very vividly–the pain of each contraction, how I was sweating bullets and almost cursing because the air conditioning at the birthing room of Makati Med broke down and all I wanted was my epidural, how I pushed with all my might but had no idea if A was coming out or not, and when she was finally laid on my chest and I heard her first cry…*sigh*

It seems like it was just yesterday when we brought her home all bundled and snug in her blankie, and yet oddly, it also seems like it’s taken the H and I YEARS to reach this point where our little A is truly thriving and (almost) independent.

And what a journey it has been!  From the sleepless nights to the yaya dramas, from the pain of breastfeeding to the doubts over whether we were doing anything right–all I can say is, I am pooped!  Hahaha!

Seriously, however, despite the challenges of parenting, the H and I feel very blessed and proud that A has grown to be a happy, healthy and smart baby!

In fact, A is quite the talker–much like her mama!  To date, she already has about 85 words in her repertoire.  Not too shabby for a 16-month old, huh?  Her first word at 5 months was “cuckoo” although she pronounced it more like, “kaka”–thanks to lolo and lola’s cuckoo clock.  Pretty sophisticated, right?  Since then, I’ve been amazed at how quickly she picks up new words and sounds, and how she just chatters away endlessly at all times of the day.

What I’m most proud of, however, is that among A’s first words are the words “opo“, “please” and “thank you”.  She also knows how to say “borrow” before she wants to use or get something, and does not just grab stuff from other children.  My heart really bursts with pride when other parents compliment how well-behaved and “mabait” A is for her age :).

I really think it is the responsibility of each and every parent to inculcate good manners and behavior in their children.  Discipline is a difficult and dirty job, but it is something the H and I take very seriously.  You won’t believe how many parents pass this role off to their child’s teachers or their yayas.  In our household, we do not allow anyone to take over this duty, and we make sure that we always support each other in the way we correct or reprimand our child.

At the same time, disciplining also goes hand in hand with teaching children respect, kindness, empathy and compassion.  This, in particular, is a very big deal to me, as I have been witness to many children who are raised with a severe lack of basic manners, and who do not have a clue as to how to treat others with decency.  The H and I have made such a conscious effort that A will never be accused of such behavior, and it looks like our efforts have started to pay off :).

Every time I see my little one give her yayas a big hug, or when she says “thank you” to her nurse after finishing the night shift, or when she is in Gymboree with other kids and waits for her turn on the different apparatus, I feel not just relief that my daughter is growing to be a “good girl”, but proud knowing that she will carry this behavior with her into adulthood.  These moments are so affirming, and make me feel that despite the challenges of parenthood, I’m not such a bad mom after all–haha! :)  My child is happy, loved, healthy, and growing–physically, mentally, and even spiritually!

I am truly a proud mama! :)

Pillow Talk

There’s nothing like starting the new year with a fresh slate!  At Casa C, we are currently ushering in 2012 with a lot of cleaning and organizing.  Closets are being purged, rooms are being tidied, the new linens have been busted out, and the kitchen and bath have been scrubbed to shine.

All this activity has brought me into full nesting mode, and I find myself once again longing for a decoration project or purchase.  My latest obsession?  Throw pillows!  Here are some cushions that have caught my fancy:

Colorful, quirky and chic = LOVE!

Happy Ever After {Part Deux}

My wedding day was truly a product of love.

The H and I decided we wanted to be very hands on, hence we decided to forego hiring a coordinator, which was all the rage during that time.  We instead relied on the help of close friends and family, who we assigned roles prior to and during the wedding ceremony.  It was also our way of telling them how much they meant to us, by having them take part in our special day.

To give the wedding our personal touch, we also did a lot of DIY.  I designed all the wedding invitations, missalettes, menus, placecards, table numbers and souvenirs.

The H and I also did all the cutting and assembling, and got some help from my “elves” at work :).  We saved a ton by doing so, and were able to spend more on other wedding essentials with the money we saved :).

Proof of the H doing the folding! Hahaha!

Doing my share of the work :)

What a dream come true our wedding was!  While I went through all the drama and the heartache that is part and parcel of wedding planning, in the end, it was all worth it, and I would so go through it all again :)  Hahaha! Not only did it bring the H and I even closer together, but we were able to prove that we could pull it off, with the help of those who were nearest and dearest to us.  Being the good children that we were, we were also able to orchestrate the wedding we wanted, but at the same time, made our parents happy with the outcome.

I vividly remember during both the ceremony and reception how many happy tears were shed by various members of my family and the guests as well.  It was nice to see how many people were touched by the events of that day.

Allow me to share with you some of the details of our wedding that I loved the most:

1. My Wedding Dress

My beautiful dress by Richie Ortega-Torres

My wedding dress was designed by Richie Ortega-Torres.  Working with her was so fun and easy–every bride’s dream!  What I especially liked about working with Richie is how she listens to her brides, and does not insist on her own ideas.  I don’t know how many designers I went to, who either insulted me by saying off the bat that I needed to lose weight, or who sketched designs that were totally NOT for my body type (uh hello!).  With Richie, I basically just told her what I wanted (a strapless gown in pina material), and she came up with several sketches for me based on my ideas.  Almost immediately I found a style that I thought suited my figure, and that was it!

As you will see in the photo above, the gown turned out fabulously!  The bodice and belt were fully beaded, and the beading at the hemline echoed the design of our invitation.  Richie also dyed the pina fabric a very, very light shade of pink to give it a unique touch.  In the end, I thought it was perfection!!!

Richie also designed and made all of the entourage gowns.  All my girls were very happy with their dresses, and that, in turn, made me really happy as well!  Richie was able to source this beautiful fabric from India, that draped and fell very nicely.  Not only were the dresses extremely comfortable, but they also had such a wonderful, dreamy look, and flowed with the girls’ every move.

Our beautiful entourage

2. Our Wedding Invitations, Missalette, Menu and Table Numbers

DIY Invitations

Our invitations were inspired by a design that I found in a wedding magazine.  I adapted and modified it a little, and came up with this.  The “folder” was printed in kraft board (I wanted to make use of recycled paper) which I personally sourced.  I wrapped a purple bandeau around it and sealed it with a sticker that carried our insignia.  To add a bit of elegance to the design, I added two crystals on either side of the sticker.

I really, really loved how these turned out!  I think I was pretty successful in achieving a sophisticated look, despite the use of recycled paper.

Missalette

Menus for the Principal Sponsors

Table Numbers

To add another personal touch, I used photos of my niece G, as table numbers.  It was really fun having a photo shoot with her, and having her pose with numbers that went all the way up to 45!  Hahaha!  Since she was the only “apo” and niece I had then, she had the sole honor of being my table number model! :)

3. The Flowers and Set-up

One of the first suppliers we had booked for our wedding was the florist–advice from our married couple friends.  Unfortunately, while we had supposedly booked one of the best, he suddenly went missing and ran away with our money :(

Despite the fact that we were pretty bummed about it, we ended up with an equally talented florist, who did such a great job with the bouquets, the table arrangements, and with draping the ceiling of the Manila Polo Club.

The bright boquets contrasted nicely with the subdued palette of the gowns.

All I can say is, when I entered that ballroom, I was completely speechless!

Floral centerpieces using different types of white ceramic containers

A picture of the ballroom. This is the only one I could find that gave justice to the draping.

4. The Wedding Cake and Dessert Buffet

The H and I looooooove desserts so one of our non-negotiables for this wedding was a dessert buffet, and I already had in mind Classic Confections to do it for us.

Baba's famous Calamansi Bars

Again, Baba Ibazeta-Benedicto, the owner, was such a joy to work with.  I must have just met with her twice, and she took over from there.  Her Banana Cream Pie and Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion were a smashing hit with my guests!

Our simple but elegant wedding cake

I love how Baba was able to incorporate details from my dress into our wedding cake.  The design was the same as the beaded embroidery of my hemline :)

Unfortunately, this is the only memory I have of my cake.  After the wedding, we entrusted it to MPC for the night with the instruction that it would be picked up the next day.  Come the following morning, they told us they “did not have it”.  Haaaaaay!  While I have my thoughts about what really happened to our cake, all I will say is, at least someone enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t me.  :(  Hahaha!

5. The Souvenirs

Originally, I didn’t want to have souvenirs but instead, wanted to donate the money to a charity on behalf of my guests.  My mom, however, thought it would be nice if the guests could walk away with a souvenir of my wedding day.

I am vehemently opposed to items that are useless and gather dust so if ever, the souvenir would have to be something practical like a food item.  Luckily, we were able to find just the thing!

We ended up giving out really yummy Pastillas de Leche wrapped in pabalat–a very intricately cut design on japanese paper.  The best thing about it is that we were able to find a product from a livelihood project that supported not only a small community near my home, but encouraged the re-birth of a dying Filipino tradition.  The “manangs” in the community were able to make and cut out a design of the H’s and my name on purple japanese paper and used this to wrap the Pastillas.  It was really quite exquisite and beautiful.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the pabalat, just a picture of them packaged in round containers.

The round thing my friend T is holding is the packaging of our souvenirs.

6. Our Non-Traditional Guest Book

I loved the idea of using Polaroids for a guest book.  Not a lot of people were doing this during that time so it was then a pretty unique idea.  Most people were still using the traditional signed guest books.  Luckily, I was one of the few who was able to get an actual Polaroid camera, before the company went bankrupt.  I also hoarded as much film as I could so that I could make sure that all my guests would have a chance to be photographed.  They loved it!  I also assigned my “single” cousins to the guest book so it gave them a chance to meet my other single friends–hahaha!

I love the "old school-ness" of Polaroids!

7. Our Special “Surprise” Guest

Oh eM Geeee!

Why am I so surprised in this picture and why is the H giving a big salute?  Well, he practically pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the night!  He got our friend Agot Isidro to sing our entrance song!  Boy, was I totally shocked! It was so unexpected, and I am amazed, to this day, that he was able to keep something of this magnitude from me.  Usually, I can sniff surprises a mile away.  Hahaha!

The uber gorgeous and talented Agot Isidro

8. Our Photographer 

Aside from the Church and the reception area, a good photographer is one of the first suppliers one must confirm when getting married.  Today, there are many talented and affordable ones to choose from, but during my time, there were a select few, and all of them difficult to book.

I am very fortunate that I was able to get Pat Dy, one of my top choices.  Looking at his portfolio, I loved his shot selection, and the way he captured candid moments.  Loving photography the way I do, I felt that Pat would do a great job chronicling the special details of our wedding–and that he did!  From the onsite video to the actual album, Pat’s pictures were sooooo good!  All my guests were in awe, and to this day, I myself do not tire of looking at my wedding pictures :).

Despite the fact that the photographs were pretty pricey, the H and I thought that it was well worth it.  Again, a good photographer was a non-negotiable for us, so paying a premium was something that we did not regret :)

With our photographers, Pat and Francis :)

9. The Heartwarming Speeches

Lastly, and to cap off this post on my wedding, the thing I loved the most was listening to the heartwarming speeches from our Best Men, from our Maids of Honor, and then from our parents.

The Besties

Sistahs = Love :)

There was such an outpouring of love for both the H and I that we were truly touched by everyone’s words.  There were funny moments, “awwwww” moments, and sniffle moments–all in all contributing to making the night more special and complete.  I loved that despite the size of the wedding, we were able to achieve the intimacy of a smaller wedding because of the closeness of the guests and the love that permeated throughout the room. *Big Sigh*

And with that, I’d like to finally end this post by thanking you for patiently taking this trip down memory lane with me.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :).  I think I’ll be on a wedding high for a while…Hahaha!

Happy Ever After

Today I am reliving one of the most wonderful days in my life–my wedding day :)

Four years ago, on 1-6-08, to be exact, I promised to love, to hold, and to cherish, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad…and it’s the best promise I’ve ever made!

Blissfully happy on our wedding day :)

Not to say that this journey has not had its shares of ups and downs, challenges and frustrations–I’d be lying if I gave you that impression.  But the fact that I’m married to a very caring, supportive, generous, thoughtful and responsible man who loves me and our daughter to pieces, makes me feel like I’m the luckiest person alive :)

Marriage has made me a better version of myself.  It has pushed and prodded me to go beyond my comfort zone and to learn many important and basic lessons in life such as proper communication, having more realistic expectations of my spouse, and learning to compromise.  There are many more things I am learning about myself and the H everyday, but that’s what makes marriage all the more exciting for me.  I wouldn’t say we have the perfect marriage yet, but getting to “happily ever after” and trying different approaches is all part of this wonderful journey.

When I was a swingin’ single, I used to think I was happy and content with who I was, and what I had accomplished in life.  Marrying the H introduced me to a different kind of happy–one that was more selfless and profound.  It is difficult to explain, but entering into this new phase in my life gave me such a deeper reason to do what I do, and to continously strive to make myself better.

I am so glad that before the H and I got married, we made it a priority to attend counselling sessions that equipped us for the road ahead.  Every weekend, we went up to Tagaytay to see our priest, Fr. Dennis Paez, who advised and prepared us for marriage.  I am proud to say that while I had stars in my eyes, I also had a good understanding of the trials and challenges that married life had in store.  I went into marriage knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be a bed of roses, and that we had to constantly work at it everyday to make it a success.

I was also very impressed at the commitment the H had to go through all of the sessions with me.  It made me feel very assured that he would be a great husband, and a loving father to our children.

Fast forward to four years later, and I can truly say that I am still very much in love with the man I married even though he is much different from the man I met and fell in love with (and I expected that change).  Throughout the years, the H has been my rock and my refuge, and I can only thank the Lord for giving him to me.

Writing this post has allowed me to reflect on these past years, and makes me look forward with anticipation to the many many more adventures the H and I have in store for us–the travels, the opportunities, more children…!  I am excited about the endless possibilities of new experiences to share–both good and bad–that will only make our bond stronger and more enduring.

Cheers to 4 years and counting, hon!  We’ve done a tremendously great job, and I am ready for more of everything with you!  Love, love, love, M :)