Sunday, December 30, 2012

Back at the hospital

Exactly a month after my storied "anniv hospitalization", I again find myself in Makati Med.

At 11:30pm of Dec 27, I felt a sudden sharp pain in my right abdomen. It was severe and seering that I immediately asked julz to bring me to the hospital. (And to think I was that kind of person who'd wait and see before deciding)

I could hardly breathe while on the road because i was in a lot of pain. My fear was that my appendix had ruptured. Compounding this was the fact that i was pregnant and that the best surgeon i know (ie, my father) was out of the country for a vacation!

The initial diagnosis didn't rule out appendecitis (I had all the symptoms). Doctors also considered gall stones. In fact, my OB and her team already asked for a surgical opinion on my case. Thankfully, Papa, ever my hero, flew in the very next morning.

I had several tests and scans done. Eventually, my doctors cleared me of any need for surgery. Whatever I had, I was responding very well to medicines.

It's my 3rd night in the hospital. My doctors suspect I had subacute appendicitis (the kind in its early stages that could be managed by meds). That or something to do with my bad hyperacidity. Either way, I am better now. I feel no pain anymore. Thank You, Lord, for Your healing!!!

I am also so grateful that God is keeping our Smartie safe. She has been so strong all this time, even though Mommy has been so weak. Thank you, baby. Im extremely proud of you. I will do my very best to make it up to you.

I am raring to go home already. I hope you can pray for me and my family, that we may all stay healthy and safe :) Thank you!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Review of My Faith Goals

Faith Goals are my objectives, aspirations, and in a sense, my "themes" for a given year. I started making them in 2008. Back then, I believed that that year would be my time to make the foundations of my future. I closed that year with a law degree, unscathed by the bar exams, gainfully employed, and happily into my 2nd year with my then-boyfriend Julz.

In 2009, my Faith Goal was to build on my foundations. That year, I became a full-fledged lawyer working in one of the country's big firms. I also got engaged and by the end of the year, I wed the love of my life.

When 2010 rolled in, I set my faith on becoming a good wife and mother. I quit my law firm job in the first quarter of the year and focused all my energies taking care of my husband, myself, and the baby on the way. I gave birth on August 23, 2010. Three months later, Julz and I joyfully celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary by dedicating our son to the Lord :)

Year 2011 was for balancing family and career. It was the year I eased myself back into the work force as a hands-on, breastfeeding mom (not easy!).

Then, as most of you know, 2012 was for seeing the world :)

Indeed, I am blessed that the Lord has always looked upon my "Faith Goals" with favor. I'm not saying He never denies my requests ha. In fact, there are many times in a year that I do get frustrated and disappointed because I don't feel like my life is "on track". But look, as my testimony shows, I close each year achieving my Faith Goal! God is good!

It is also essential that each Faith Goal is carefully thought-out and prayed for. I don't just sit and come up with a random theme for a year. Truth be told, it's a process of weeks and even months of prayer for discernment--asking God what my (and my family's) purpose is for the coming year and in what direction we should go.

And this, in the end, is what makes it a Faith Goal. It is a plan, a purpose, an objective that is so rooted faith that it is impossible to conceive and achieve it without God :)

I am excited to talk about my 2013 Faith Goal. I have been praying about it since October and soon, I shall be ready to reveal it! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Celebracion by Suelas

Exactly a week ago, I attended the formal launch of a pretty shoe collection called Celebracion by Suelas. Many of you know this is a collaboration between my dear friend, Patty, and the Suelas team (makers of my beloved Llanura flats).
Classy, dainty cake by Michelle Teves of Coco Cakes
Tea Buffet by Serendipitea

Kelly Misa with her Bijou pair
Patty with Pierre
And proof that I was actually there. Haha.
Without bias, though, I can look anyone in the eye and say that these flats are oozing with elegance and charm! When I saw them up close, I couldn't help but swoon and want every style for myself! They're perfect for dressy occasions... and because they're flats, methinks they're still simple enough for a chic getup to lunch or dinner :)

I must say that this collection comes at an exceptionally good time for me. Being a mom of a 2-year old and being six months pregnant now, I really find it impractical to strut (or run after Jaden) in stilettos or heels (hence my blog name!). Celebracion solves my dilemma of my need to wear nice, classy footwear without sacrificing comfort!
These pretty little things are now exclusively available online at suelasonline.com. Please do get a pair or two for yourself (you know you deserve it! *wink*)... and because it's Christmas, why not pick up a pair for the dear girls in your life, too? 



All photos by AARON VICENCIO
Celebracion in Suelas was launched in PINK ME UP BEAUTY NAIL & DRY SPA

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Story Behind Casa Esquivias

Early in our marriage, Julz and I had planned to live in our condo for a couple of years, move to a starter house on a lot and stay there for maybe 8-10 years, and then build our dream house and retire there.

This year was our 3rd together, so we both knew it was high time to ponder on building our starter house. (Our search for an existing house & lot in the market turned out hopeless!) Besides, our son Jaden was growing to be a very active toddler. And like any parent, we longed to provide him a bigger space where he can run and play.

After much thought and prayer, we decided to take the plunge.

To be more candid, I finally agreed to build our starter house in the East.

You see, my husband has always wanted to do this. He was always ready to do this. The only one in his way was me.

After Ondoy, I didn't want to live in the East and I didn't want a house by a creek. I also didn't want to be too far from my side of the family or my friends (who are all based in the South). Many days, I would think of completely sidestepping the starter house and just target building the dream house.

This was my stand for three long years. I wouldn't budge. I conveniently thought that deciding otherwise would "spoil" my dreams.

But the Lord has a way of changing hearts. And he did mine :)

I still have the same apprehensions about living too far from... well, everything. The creek outside our new house still unsettles me. Ondoy, habagat, and other strong rains, I imagine, can trigger my paranoia.

And yet, I am at peace. These "worries", I realize, are workable and shouldn't be dead-ends to what we could give our children now. In the end, a good and comfortable life for my family is my biggest dream--building our own house is a huge step to that, and definitely not a "spoiler", as I thought.

There is much pride in my heart witnessing our house being built, knowing that this is the biggest project Julz and I ever embarked on as husband-and-wife. I am especially blessed when I look back and think of the long time my husband patiently waited for me. He could have forced me to build our house years ago, if you think about it. But no, he honored my wishes and I guess... it's my turn now to obey :)

There is even more happiness when I look at him, Jaden, and my growing belly, and imagine that many happy memories will be created here!

Above all, there is incredible joy knowing and believing that this is where God wants my family to live. This is where He put us. And this is where He will broaden our sphere of influence :)

I'm excited!

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 in 2012 became 20 in 2012

I realize this is long overdue, considering that this should have been done last November 28, our anniversary and the official start of the Stellar calendar ;)

Well, better late than never, right?

It has been a full year since I declared 2012 to be our year of seeing the world. It is with much joy and gratitude that I report to you today that we have exceeded our target of 12 cities! Wee! God is soooo good and faithful indeed! It's blessings like this that really make you believe that the Lord can do and give more than anything you can ask or imagine!

Anyway, here's a round-up of all the places we've been to this past year!

1. Singapore, Singapore (December 2011)

2. Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines (February 2012)
3. Mactan, Cebu, Philippines (April)
4. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (May)
5. Barcelona, Spain (May)

6. Marseille, France (June)
7. Nice, France
8. Monte-Carlo, Monaco
9. Pisa, Italy

10. Florence, Italy
11. Rome, Italy

12. Vatican City
13. Amalfi, Italy

14. Pompeii, Italy
15. Athens, Greece

16. Katakolon, Greece
17. Mykonos, Greece
18. Venice, Italy
19. Hong Kong (October 2012)
20. Macau (October 2012)


Whew!

This year, travel will take a backseat as we anticipate the coming of our second baby, Smartie. I expect we'll be busy, too, sprucing up our new house! Weee!

I'm still asking God for direction for our 2013 Faith Goal. I've got an idea, but I'm still praying about it :) Don't ya worry, will share it with all of you when we've set it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Housebuilding Updates

We are now on the 6th month of constructing Casa Esquivias. Technically, we are several weeks delayed. (Our contract had stated the house should be ready for move-in by the 3rd week of November.) But we are in no rush. We expected this as well. So all's good.

Undeniably, of course, naiinip na ko! The extra wait is like torture for low EQ me! We had wanted to spend our anniversary there. When that proved unfeasible, we targeted Christmas. Now, basta we can move in and have our home blessed before I give birth (which is in late March), ok na! Hehe.

In fairness, we are already in the finishing stages... which I know takes an excruciatingly long time, too. But again, it's okay. We're getting there! As of today, the second (main) floor is almost completely done. We're just waiting for the granite top and sink for the kitchen, the wood flooring of the study, and the tiles and fixtures for the powder room.

It's the 1st and 3rd floors that need double time, if you ask me. Actually, it should be a breeze for the 1st floor because cementing and a few interior works nalang yun since that level just houses our carport and service quarters.

I was told painting works for the 3rd floor (our rooms) start this week. I've chosen the colors already. Sana matapos na!

Meanwhile, Julz and I have been busy doing the rounds of furniture and appliance stores. We are like two eager beaver homeowners ready to plunge at good deals! Hehe. So far, we've purchased aircons for the main floor as well as our ref. On deck are the aircons for the rooms. (Note to self: narrow down choices for stove and range hood.)

Last Wednesday, we also made our first furniture purchase: our sofa! I'm so happy! We're having it customized because we found the perfect peg but not the perfect actual thing :P We're getting a sofa that looks like this:
Ours will be in light gray :)
I hope the fabric I chose will work as I imagined. Iiyak talaga ako pag fail yun!

We're in search for our dining set now. So far, we've seen the perfect table--but its chairs we don't like! Eh set yun! Grr. We might end up having this customized too... sana naman hindi! I don't want the added cost and the waiting game of customization! Oh well. I hope we find our dining set soon :) Many happy family memories will be made there!

Can't wait to move in!

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Bridesmaid Story

Twitterlandia and the blogosphere were abuzz last November 22 because it's Thanksgiving in the US... and in the Philippines, it's the wedding of The Pats! Yay! :) (Not coincidentally, my stats shot up on that very day--aminin niyo, daming nag-attempt mag-stalk kay Patty through me! Hehehe :P)

Don't worry, I don't blame them (you? hehe). In fact, I completely understand the excitement over this event. I myself had been counting down the days til the Big Day! I could hardly contain myself just imagining the moment I will see my friend of two decades marry her prince charming.

But before that magical date on the calendar came, I must tel you all that Patty was a picture of a blessed, contented, and GIDDY bride-to-be. Never the bridezilla, she was the type who could (and did) laugh away the inevitable stresses a wedding entails. All in all though, I think Patty was just excited to marry Patrick. Getting the wedding of her dreams would just be icing on the cake.

And boy, were they given lots of those icing! :)

The wedding of the Pats was picture-perfect! God blessed them with beautiful weather, a gorgeous venue, and a whole lotta family and friends who truly shared their joy!

Julz and I drove up to Tagaytay early morning of their wedding day to be with Patty as soon as she wakes up, and until she walks down the aisle.

Here are a few (amateur) snapshots of the day from my camera!
I told you she was giddy! ;)
The ceremony set-up. I love those glistening ghost chairs!
The family of the bride
As you can see, God shone his best spotlight (Mr Sun!) on the couple that day!
Aww :)
Kami naman! First time in Hacienda Isabella :)

GOOD NEWS!

You can bid for Patty's gorgeous ROSA CLARA wedding gown in a private auction set up by Patty herself for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Davao.

Let this be your special way to own a dreamy designer dress AND be an angel to many of our countrymen in Mindanao. 

Please visit pattylaurel.com for more details. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Prayer at 2 AM

To my Father in Heaven,

I thank You for the fact that I can come to you anytime and anywhere. No concern of mine is trivial for you; I know that my littlest heartaches are Your heartaches too.

Tonight, I just want to lift my children, Jaden and Smartie, unto you. I know you love them more than Julz and I ever can. If only for that, help me completely trust in Your plan and purpose for them.

I release Jaden and Smartie to you, God. Their bodies, their feelings, their souls. Build them. Mold them. Strengthen them.

And as You work in my children's lives, equip me and Julz so that we may raise them according to your word. Teach me to be a good Christian mother, Lord. Grant me wisdom, discernment, and peace of mind even in the midst of tough times.

I lay all my anxiety and even anger at Your feet, Father. I don't want them anymore. Replace them with Your grace and with fortified faith in Your power.

Again, I dedicate Jaden and Smartie to you. Thy will be done in their lives.

Amen




Friday, December 07, 2012

What Happened on our Anniversary

So you know I spent the eve of our anniversary in the hospital, right? Well, the good news is there is that, at least, I was home with my husband on the first hour of our 3rd anniversary.

Because we were apart practically the rest of the day :(

When I woke up that morning, I thought I felt better. I was even able to blog in a jiffy. However, after a couple of hours in bed, I couldn't deny it--something was still bearing down on my abdomen and there was pain.

I called Dr. Aherrera (my fab OB) and she instructed me to go back to the hospital for possible admission. In the Delivery Room of MakatiMed, doctors and nurses confirmed that I was indeed having some contractions. Very little ones. But still.

I was strapped to a monitor for many, many hours! Like almost a day maybe. They gave me meds through an IV after oral medication proved inadequate. I was put on strict bedrest. And, unless you count the doctors and nurses who came and went, I spent the rest of our anniversary all alone in the DR. Julz was waiting for me in our hospital room (alone as well). Upon doctors' orders, I was to stay in the DR where I could be more closely monitored by specialists (and where patients' companions were strictly prohibited).

I was counting the hours left in November 28, hoping against hope that by 9 or 10pm, I could be wheeled out of the DR into the loving arms of my hubby a regular room.

Alas, at 8pm, my doctors told me it would be better for me to spend the night right where I was. I felt so sad. It was our anniversary! We were supposed to be in a fancy restaurant toasting to our happy marriage.

At the same time, I was grateful. I knew Smartie is okay, and is going to be okay. And that is, hands down, the best anniversary gift Julz and I can ask for.

I was "reunited" with Julz at around lunchtime the next day. By that time, the contractions have quieted. I was also able to see Smartie via ultrasound and she was a-ok! She was moving about, obviously delighted that Mommy is just in bed (giving baby lots of playtime). I even thought to myself, Oh my baby Smartie, so oblivious to my 'irritable uterus'. Hehe!
Day 2 in Makati Med
I stayed one more day at the hospital, just as a precaution that I won't have another episode of contractions. On Friday (Nov 30), I was cleared to go home and I wasted no time hurrying to the little boy waiting for me at home--Jaden, of course.

His whole face lit up upon seeing me. He flashed me that genuine, heartwarming smile and squealed, "Mommy!" Then he gave me a hug and made pasikat! It was priceless!

And so from this, I learned that one of the greatest ways to celebrate marriage is to celebrate the lives of our children :)

I love you, Jaden, Smartie, and of course, my original panganay, Julz :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Law Student Me, circa 2007

Like a lot of people, I have been trying to download my stuff from Multiply. Inevitably, I came across so many fun memories, particularly the ones I made in law school.

Here's one blog entry that isn't exactly "fun", but is very special to me. Read on :)

undisguised
June 12, 2007

I am officially ending  my last summer vacation today. Classes in UP Law open tomorrow, but because my Tuesday OLA duty doesn’t start until next week and I have Wednesdays off this semester, I am having a field day basking in the thought that I still have two extra days of freedom… Which means that, unofficially, my vacation does not have to come to a close just yet. Yihaa.

I’ll miss vacations like this… or, more accurately, I’ll miss this vacation.

I can’t even begin telling you how much I enjoyed this summer. Apart from being a huge learning experience, the past couple of months has served its purpose of being a much-needed break from the dragging monotony called, dare I say it, law school.

Third year in Malcolm wasn’t my best year, academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Somewhere along the way, I lost steam and forgot to love what I do and do what I love. I surreptitiously slipped into a state of disinterestedness and I sank deep in the dreadful curse of mediocrity. I unwittingly but deftly let go of all drive to respect and honor the privilege of studying law in UP. Worst of all, I allowed myself  to conveniently forget that I was put here for a purpose. His purpose.

It’s embarrassing to admit that I wallowed in this unhealthy slumber for a whole schoolyear. My grades started to dip in the first semester, and even then I put the alarm bells in my head on snooze. Second semester rolled in and, as expected, my grades plummeted even more. While I am no longer as grade-conscious as when I was in college, I still do put a premium on my academic scores simply because it’s what I bring home to my dad and mom.

I have often racked my brain for answers to why and how I reached this point, attempting futilely to justify my refusal to budge from that pathetic state. I  conjured up varied excuses, ranging from the superficial to the somewhat legitimate. In retrospect, I realize now how tiring and senseless it was to create such a wide spectrum of flimsy cover-ups which, I should have known, can never really vindicate me.

When I turned in my last exam for the semester two months ago, I sorely missed that familiar sigh of relief that typically comes after a day’s hard work. In its place, frustration and exhaustion came crashing down on me. All of a sudden, a profound sense of weakness overwhelmed my once impenetrable spirit.

Isa lang ang nasabi ko nun: God, pagod na ko.

Then, in a string of seamless moves, He breathed life into me again. With His impeccable timing and matchless wisdom, He showed me – once more – why He brought me here and how much I am special to Him. He took me on a journey of the past year and generously allowed me to take in the sights that I previously missed as I was too busy at the wheel, foolishly forgetting that He is and has always been the better driver. In that journey, I saw -- for the first time -- the year's miracles that He lovingly placed in my path.

He used people, places, and events to find me again. My family became my lighthouse once more, and Alaska became more than a tourist destination to me; it was there, right at the summit of Skagway – on my 24th birthday – that He reminded me of His glory, His love, His faithfulness… and MY place in His heart.

I am His daughter.

And He wants nothing more than my happiness.

Haaay. Masaya talaga maging anak ng Hari.
Para sa Inyo po ang huling taon ko sa Malcolm.


***

I promised myself I won't be this honest in my blog anymore. But i make an exception this time, because today marks the beginning of my chance to go above the person I've been for the past few years.

Just for that, I know, senior year... tsss... ;)

Monday, December 03, 2012

For my little boy's room

via Houzz

I'm so fascinated with this room design! I'm thinking of doing an accent wall with those blue & brown stripes, and the rest of the room in the palest blue...or cream (must ask professional ID friends first). Then, instead of a brown sofa, we'll probably put a daybed with similar throw pillows :) A regular bed would be nice, too, except that we anticipate Jaden's room to be more of a playroom than a place where he'll actually sleep! So we need the all the space for playing!

Now I know the giraffe stands out in this photo as a major focal point of the room. But I kinda doubt if Jaden will like that. So... maybe no giraffe or teddy bears for us. As it is, the room looks like it'll be filled with balls and cars.

What do you guys think? :)
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