Thursday, October 9, 2014

Changes

Change is constant. And change can be daunting. But change can also be exciting. 

This year is all about the constancy of change in my life. 

This year set a milestone in my married life. We've always wanted to have a baby but we thought that we could plan it. In our minds, the perfect time is when we have moved already to our own condo unit, when we have saved enough, traveled enough. But no, God surprised us one day when He smiled upon us and deemed us ready for a new responsibility, a new addition to our small unit. We're expecting a stork in the next 5 weeks! And we're expecting with bated breath. 


Summer of this year saw me transition to a new job which is really a welcome relief; like a breath of fresh air. I strongly believe that God's timing is always perfect. But I know that it can be difficult to hold onto this promise when you're in a rough patch in whatever area in your life. For me, the waiting was over a year. I went through the normalcy of showing up for work, delivering what is required, yet always, always pining for that new job I was praying for. 

When it came, it arrived in my doorstep so suddenly I didn't have time to blink. In a snap, my work responsibility and description changed. And I was never happier. God's appointment is always on time. 

With just weeks to prepare for the arrival of our baby, we moved houses. From a very tiny condo for two, we moved to a two bedroom unit in a neighbourhood that is suitable for families. It's not just the physical move that gives me the jitters but the thought of living with other people to help us raise our child. 

I came from a large family. Growing up, every space in our house is occupied by a sibling, a relative visiting or staying with us for a while. So, when it came for me to work on my independence, I struggled to live by myself, learn to fend for myself, and I learned to love living by myself. The occasional visit to the hometown was always treated us a vacation. So, the chaos and the noise were tolerated. 

This time though, I dread the day that I would have to constantly deal with others inside my home. In a week or so, the help would arrive along with my mom and aunt. Am glad that my mom and Tita have agreed to stay with me while I am adjusting to motherhood, raising a child, and entrusting my child's care to a stranger. 

I've also noticed the changing of the tides in my shopping pilgrimage to the mall. Now, I spend hours looking at small, cute items. I realized that buying practical stuff for the baby takes a lot of patience, thinking and bargaining. And the array of choices is crazy. We've made a habit of checking out online stores to find the cutest dress, hippest baby sweaters, the fanciest booties. But at the end of the day, we end up with basic whites with ties on the side, old school binders and mittens. Nothing beats the elegance of a white onesie, white booties, white mittens and white binders. 

We're reserving the splash of colours in our baby's accessories. Can't wait to decorate her tiny space in our tiny bedroom! 

The biggest change is yet to happen. When we hold the tiny hand of our little wee one, we begin the journey to parenthood... to being responsible for the shaping and nurturing a new life. Or has it already started the moment that tiny heart started beating inside my womb? 

Cheers to change!

Xx

Sheng




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Halfway to 2014

It's past the halfway of the year. And I think it's the best time to take stock of where you are: the things to be grateful for, the opportunities that knocked and were seized, the missed moments, the disappointments, and the in-betweens. 

My first half of 2014, in retrospect: 

Am grateful for...

1. God's faithfulness -- He never ceases to amaze me with His consistent grace

2. good health -- nothing beats a sound mind and body

3. another year -- I turned 36 this year. Every year, I look forward to my birthdays. Because it's the best time to appreciate the incredible gift God has given us, the gift of life.  

And of course the perks that comes with it. Presents!

Thank you, Dawn for my magnetic board. This should be the home of everything that inspires me.

Got a set of two demitasse from Zhorai. But Mara claims it's from the both of them. Thank you, guys!
The hubby went the super extra mile this year. He gave small, thoughtful but creative gifts. I thought that it set the stage for the expectation department. 

More than the gifts I really appreciated the thought process put into the gift-giving gesture. And the notes! Major, major accomplishment -- well-written, just the right dose of humor and cheesiness. 
Glad to know that I'm the favorite wife *wink*

Because I'm crazy about doing my bit for the environment. Let's lessen our carbon footprint, shall we?

I've always had the knack of telling him what to do style-wise. So he wants me to unleash the inner "artist" in me. Lol!

White roses for my birthday salubong. Not Ecuadurian roses but oh, so pretty still. 

My best friend in the world is really Kate. This came with the birthday surprise.

iPad Mini (with Retina Display). Goodbye, bulky iPad 2. 
4. a new job -- in a faraway time, I actually daydreamt of doing what I'm doing now. It was sort of vague but I had a vivid recollection of it involving technology. And here I am still doing something that has always been part of my DNA, Training combined with technology. 

God knows, I prayed for this... for a long time. Thank you, universe for making it happen. 

5. a solid relationship -- being married is not easy-breezy. And my first year wasn't all about a bed of roses but this year saw us maturing as a couple and more attuned to our needs and expressions of love, sharing the same dreams and relishing our individual desires.

6. havin' a baby! -- we got the biggest surprise of the year! the little bun in the oven is changing the way we look at life, and is already re-calibrating our lifestyle. 

... the opportunities that knocked and were seized

7. travel -- I discovered traveling a bit later in life. Well, thanks to the internet, planning your travel itinerary has never been this easy. This year saw us traveling to two countries. There would have been more, had we not surprised ourselves with a baby in my womb. 

We've had our sights on Siem Reap, Cambodia for quite a while now. And so we did have a 4-day experience of it sometime in February. Angkor Wat did not disappoint. And it would always top our list of our cultural lesson. 

And then, we visited Taipei during the holy week; two days before we officially found out that we were 6 weeks pregnant. The seven days we spent roaming around this mix of old and new city were spectacular. 

8. friendships, old and new -- am grateful that my small circle of friends gets tighter every year. I don't really mind having few, as long as they're real and true. I treasure the moments of validation when I get to see the kids of my friends growing up to be young adults who consider me as their Tita-friend. 

Annah's birthday message that made me tear.
A friend asked once if it makes me uncomfortable--with the age stamp on such a relationship. My reply then and would still be, NO. It actually gives me the assurance that I must be doing it right for me to be able to have planted a seed that has taken roots spanning years that has sprouted new generation of friendships. 

9. the love of reading -- as a little child, I didn't have access to a lot of books. No library. No bookstore. But as early as 6 years old, I already fell in love with the written word. 

And am grateful that despite distractions (social media), adult obligations, workload, I still find the time to curl up in bed and read. I crave to read. Coffee is best sipped when paired with a good book. 

In the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would read at least 52 books, 1 for each week. And I'm glad to note that am already done with those 52. But along with that promise is to read books that are not just popular. Here are my good reads so far. 
A compelling memoir of an Irish-American teacher. This is a Pulitzer-prize winning non-fiction. 
Disturbingly good. 
I find this better than the Fault in Our Stars.
Crazy novel. Fun read.

This is a trilogy. And I tell you, it's so much better than Divergent.
Very Young Adult. But I liked the tapestry.
In the great scheme of things, the little disappointments along the way paved way for the amazing things that happened and are going to happen all throughout the year.   

I'm more than grateful for the blessings, for the gifts, for another opportunity to contribute to the world. 

And for a chance to do things things right for the remainder of the year. 


Xx

Sheng