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.