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Mother’s Day Post

Mother’s Day this year is on May 12, 2013…but my gift arrived 2 months well in advance, with a simple note from my husband…delivered by an obviously-in-a-hurry fedex guy. :)

I’ve always knew that Michael is a very thoughtful gift-giver. He is not one to lavish me with expensive gifts, but I find that he always manages to pick out a gift that celebrates where I am in my life at that moment. And true to form, as I went through the pages of the book he gave me, I am blessed by wisdom that has been earned by a mother who have already lived the life that I am living now.

Katrina Kenison’s book, “The Gift of an Ordinary Day”, is a gift to behold for moms like me who are in the middle of raising young souls. Often, I second-guess myself with the daily decisions I make…whether it is about volunteering to be a stay-at-home mom or to turning down (yet again) a client because I want to honour our playtime hours. Sometimes I wonder, if I am losing everything that I ever was by making my young family the centre of my life? And this book confirms it…I do lose everything of my old self to make way for a life that is more than I ever hoped for.

I am thankful that my years are no longer defined by promotions and pay increases, but by heartfelt thank you’s of a 3-year old and soft kisses of a 1-year old who just can’t say thank you yet. I am blessed that my mornings are no longer spent sipping tea in peace, but in total happy chaos as my kids eat their breakfast with gusto. I am humbled that my hours are no longer as important back when I was meeting deadlines left and right, but they are precious now to my young daughters who can’t seem to get enough of “mommy”.

I guess I am writing this now, and posting Katrina Kenison’s excerpt reading below, to remind myself to cherish ordinary days with my young daughters while they seem to stretch out endlessly in front of me…because they are not actually endless. In fact, these days are all gone too soon…but I at least want to have tons of happy memories to relive in my heart over and over again.

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The Dreams I Dream

A friend once asked me where my thoughts usually go when I let it run free. I told her that it goes all over the world! Honestly, it literally does…

At night, when the kids are all asleep and I can actually think without being interrupted, my mind wanders to all the places in the world that I want my kids to experience. I want to open up the world to them… to introduce them to humanity by allowing them to walk through a nation’s history, by giving them a chance to live a culture other than their own, by speaking languages beyond English and Tagalog so they can freely talk from their hearts. I want them to fathom that love can be so great that it can create an architectural masterpiece such as the Taj Mahal; and that fear can be so overwhelming that man was able to build The Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s Wall. Moreover, I want them to appreciate how truly masterful God’s hands are through diving at the Great Blue Hole in Lighthouse Reef Atoll, by hiking all the way up to the Troll’s Tongue in Norway, or just by staring at the beauty of the Moraine Lake in Alberta.

I dream such dreams at night while holding Maggie and Mea’s hands…hoping that somehow their dreams take them to where their mom’s heart wanders.

Here’s to our world adventure, Maggie and Mea!

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The close of 2011 brought my family a lot of blessings, one of which is the opportunity for us to buy our very first home in Canada. :)

I was honestly quite worried about initiating the big decision to buy a home because we are new in Canada and we have no idea on how to go about this. Are we even allowed to buy a home in less than a year of settling here?! As it turns out – yes, we were! And what a pleasant surprise this whole adventure turned out to be!

I have an endless list of why I love Canada, but I have to say that their well-regulated real estate market is on top of my list. Canadians made home-buying not just affordable, but more importantly, comfortable. I wasn’t a bit stressed in the entire process and have extremely enjoyed our home buying adventure. :)

So, if you are new here in Canada and wondering what the process is like, please read on… …continue reading PURCHASING A HOME IN CANADA

A Different World

Sitting here and typing away with a view of the Toronto skyline amazes me. While the view is spectacular from where I am, what truly amazes me is how different my life has been from my last blog entry to…well, now.

Back then (September 2010), my view was my gardienne’s courtyard which were fenced off by intricately winded plants. They have a dog as big as a pony, and a cat as big as a dog – no kidding! I have always wanted to ask our gardienne if her pets were genetically modified or something, but since my French is…uh, elementary, I never got to ask. Good for me, I guess! Oh, I also remember that if I wear my glasses (I have such bad eyesight), I can also see my retired neighbor’s uncoordinated flower pots in full bloom from her window sill. At first, it bothered me that her pots and plants were mismatched. It goes against my idea of beautiful, which is having to see a certain rhythmn and cohesiveness in what I am looking at. But having to live with her mismatched garden for a year, I have come to see how it lends that typical french charm in our neighborhood. In fact, I think I will get myself some mismatched pots in memory of my neighbor. Oh, there’s also this guy from across the courtyard who takes the time to put all those half-naked victorian statues around his plants. He has a whole courtyard for himself and that is definitely a big bonus if you’re living in cramped Paris. He has such a pretty little garden that watching him rearrange everything — plants, statues, and little fountain included — every Tuesday morning is quite a treat for me. Well, I also have a neighbor who cleans his balcony wearing nothing but his thong! That is not a typo, I really did mean “thong”. I guess everybody gets an odd neighbor every now and then. :)

Fastforward to now (May 2011), I am taking in the beautiful Toronto skyline from the 18th floor. The view is cosmopolitan, but there is still more than enough green patches to calm a mom’s racing thoughts. I love it that Canadians managed to marry nature and city-life so well that neither one or the other is overbearing. Before coming here, I am not really so fond of nature trails, children’s park, and splash pads. I am more of a “boutique” girl and you cannot blame me for that — I can’t resist what Paris has to offer for the past two years! But since moving here, I must say that I gravitated towards the “greenery”. Where I live, we have an abundance of well-maintained parks and I enjoy taking my daughter there…weather-permitting. I am over the top happy with the community centers here, too. I was warned over and over again that I will die of boredome here in Canada…but that is so untrue! At the community center, I was given a 300-paged schedule book of all the activities that my family can sign up for. We did go for the parent-and-tot swim class because my daughter somehow got this idea that she’s Little Mermaid. When she starts going to school, maybe I can somehow fit the jewelry-making class in my mommy-schedule!

There is one thing, though, that I terribly miss — great food. I cannot help but notice that fastfood joints are still a booming business in this side of the world. That is the only thing that makes me sad. It has become very tricky to find a good restaurant here in Mississauga. In the four months that I’ve lived here, I have eaten in 16 different restaurants, and the only restaurant that has made it in my list is Cora’s — but I am still hoping that they’d soon use organic produce. I am confident and hopeful, though, that Canadians will soon move towards healthier and sustainable food options. I guess that will just be a matter of time since organic groceries like WholeFoods, Planet Organic, The Healthy Butcher (to mention a few) are expanding their businesses in Ontario…I guess that means more and more people are gravitating towards organic produce. Yey!

Before I turn this post into a “wellness campaign”, let me just say that on nights like this, gazing out into an entirely different skyline, a part of me still misses the charming allure that Paris has…but looking far into the night, a part of me is glad to be able to finally plant roots in this beautiful Canadian soil. I just hope that we’ll soon have an equally spectacular (organic) cuisine in this side of the world — sorry, just can’t resist!

Good night everyone!

15 Promises of the Rosary

Today is Mama Mary’s birthday, and I thought it fitting to write about her Most Holy Rosary — a devotion that I try to keep. I commit (although I sometimes fail) to pray the rosary every night, but since it is meditative, I sometimes find myself falling asleep in the middle of praying. Now that I have a young daughter and a husband to take care of, and a household to maintain, I find it harder to keep my devotion of praying the rosary…mostly because at the end of the day, I just want to collapse in bed due to exhaustion…hihihi!

But still, I find myself picking up my rosary by the bedside table every night and making the sign of the cross to pray to Mama Mary. I guess I am one of those people who hang on to her 15 promises to those who devoutly pray the Holy Rosary. Life in itself is quite challenging, and I would surely want some heavenly aide as I go through it! Wouldn’t you?!

If you are anything like me, maybe you will find that these promises will give you comfort and hope. That when things are confusing, frightening, and over the top miserable, you can still say to yourself that everything will be alright…that Mama Mary will hold true to her promises, which are as follows: …continue reading 15 Promises of the Rosary