Merry Month of December

24.jpg

I was able to decorate my Christmas tree after all!

To say that I don’t feel bad for not being able to write nor blog for quite some time now would be an understatement. 

For the past several nights, as I lie in bed waiting to fall asleep, I mutter to myself, “I should have written something today.” At times I even attempt to sit back up, look at my computer and try and see if it will entice me enough to write. And then I think about the events of the day… and I think of the number of hours that it normally take me to upload a single blog, with photos and all, and yeah before I realize it, I have dozed off.  The spirit is truly willing, but well, the body is tired and the brain cells don’t want to cooperate.

It’s December. A lot of things have been happening. The hustle and bustle of Christmastime seems to keep everyone preoccupied. It is a festive season… it can be an exhausting one, too.

December is about family…

2bday

We began the month with a birthday celebration for my mom. 

1parents

Just outside Peri Peri

Whenever possible, I find time to hang out with my parents, whether at their favorite  place for jamming —

 

… or watching my hubby perform at the Christmas Cantata.

December is also about Christmas get-togethers…

 

Running like a kid again… ❤ Night baseball with Habagat parents.

4habagat Winners all!

3caregrp

Christmas fellowship with my Lifegroup, my spiritual family.

Home hosts for almost 8 years and counting. Serving the Lord is never tiring. 

In between festivities, I was able to do this…

 

Book sales!!! 🙂

Guys, my book‘s still out. Shameless plug, but yeah, if you still have not grabbed a copy, go get one NOW!! ❤

This also happened this December…

14tag2My baby boy is home!!! 🙂

And because he is home, we thought of going on a short out of town vacay…

 

It was so cold… but it was so fun, too!

 

Doing what I do best… Indulge me, please 😉

And then this…

15bday

Happy 27th (+18) to me!!! ❤ 

And then came another round of get-togethers and meet ups…

 

Planned and unplanned…

 

 

Christmas Eve celebration with family

This month, we have had quite a number of opportunities to bond as a family —

From family gym time… 

… to hotel hopping while unico is out partying. 😉

25

Or simply just hanging out.

It was a busy month filled with endless Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, party preparations, get-togethers, and all the in-betweens. But thinking about it, though I haven’t been writing, well, I was busy living my life.  

Yes, it may seem exhausting, but my heart is full.

Because really, this is what it’s all about. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

ON TO THE NEXT CHAPTER… Hello 2018!

Before the year ends, I would like to take this chance to thank you, dear readers, for sticking it out with me and this blog this past year. 

Truth be told, I still get amazed every time someone tells me that he or she has read my blog (pure ecstasy when someone tells me he/she is a follower!). For the longest time, I thought I was just talking to myself — or to the air… or to some random person in the blog universe. 

But knowing that I have real readers inspire me to write more. It is because of you that I am more mindful of what I blog about… You keep me from nonsensical rants… You keep me from being preachy and self-righteous… It is also because of you that I try to make every blog post as perfect as it can possibly be, sans grammatical or spelling errors. (I try. I really do!)

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, my stories. Hopefully you have learned something from me or I have inspired you — or at the very least, I pray my blogs have entertained you somewhat. 

I believe life is meant to be lived… and stories are meant to be told. 

Here’s to more storytelling this coming year! 😉

Lastly, I would like to leave you with this prayer:

The Lord bless you and keep you;
  The Lord make His face shine upon you,
  And be gracious to you;
  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” 

Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

Daily Dose of Betsy signing off for 2017…

(My work space — yes, I have girly stuff on my computer table… you’ll never know where inspiration may come from; My drafts on yellow pad; Me… This is how I roll!)

Hello, 2018!

 

*****

photos are mostly mine 😉

 

 

Advertisements

November to remember

It’s two days ’til December… Less than a month ’til Christmas. This morning, I woke up to this: 

24135282_10155282000818737_201191744_n

Saddest Christmas tree ever 😦

And I couldn’t help but feel bad. 

I have always loved the Christmas season. I love the festive atmosphere. I love looking at the Christmas decors, watching the lights, and listening to Christmas carols. And yes, I love going Christmas shopping. I normally finalize my list sometime late October because I like doing my Christmas shopping early. By mid-November, I’m done setting up the Christmas tree and lights.

I am a gift giver. I relish the whole process — from making the list, to buying and wrapping gifts… I even like putting them under the Christmas tree (that I lovingly set up and decorated). This entire practice gives me a certain high.  

At nights before I sleep, I spend some time getting lost in the Christmas lights. Simply watching them relaxes me. I may go to bed exhausted from the day’s activities, but there’s always a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.  I call this my Christmas feeling.

Things have been quite different this year, though. It’s almost December and our tree isn’t up yet. No Christmas decors… no Christmas lights outside. In fact, there are even several busted regular bulbs inside the house that I have yet to change.

Yup, I have been neglecting quite a number of things around the house lately. I don’t know if this has something to do with our ’empty nesting.’ Since we no longer have a little child in the house  who will appreciate the decors and the lights (as much as I do), well, it suddenly doesn’t anymore feel as exciting to decorate. Somehow it is different when you have someone — other than yourself — who admires, appreciates, and gawks at that Christmas tree you have painstakingly set up for more than half a day.

So, right now, all we have is a bare tree. No lights. No gifts. No warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling.  Bah-humbug.

So what kept me busy this whole month of November? Let me backtrack a bit.

Okay, last week I was in Singapore. Again (Yey, Singapore!). You see, our Baseball Club sent two teams to play in a Thanksgiving Tournament. My husband was the head of delegation, and we pretty much spent a big part of November preparing for the trip. But unlike those other tournaments where I was on top of the travel coordination, this time we had parent leads who took care of most of the travel details. I only assisted where I was needed, giving them tips and suggestions on certain matters. And since I had no son playing in the said tournament, basically, I was just a tag along.

For a split-second I asked myself if I should still go with the team, knowing full well that I will be paying for my own expenses. Besides, weren’t we in Singapore just a month ago for the Parents’ Weekend? (Remember the previous blog?) And didn’t we extend that last time because of my son’s injury? (Remember the blog before the previous one?)

So I asked myself, is it still practical? Should I go or should I just stay home, fix my house, prepare for December, shop for Christmas?

I believe that home is where the heart is. And the heart is where the family is. My husband will be in Singapore. My son IS in Singapore. They are my home. Of course, I had to go to Singapore, as well. 

And yes, there’s also Sephora in Singapore. But that’s beside the point. 🙂

Snapshots from the Week that Was…

You’d think that since we were in Singapore, my husband and I will be able to spend a lot of time with our unico, right? Uhm, wrong! He’s in college… and the term’s about to end… he had a lot of school work to finish, papers to submit. So after seeing him and having dinner with him on the night that we arrived, well, we basically did not see even his shadow for the next several days.

Since the main reason for the trip was the baseball tournament, our days were filled with baseball games… and moments.

2

The weather was not always good… 😦

We brought two teams composed of boys mostly aged 9-10 and a couple of 11 and 12 year olds. One team played in the 10u age group, while the other played up and joined the 12u group.

Unfortunately for the 10u team, all of their games started at 8am. Since they needed to be on the field an hour before for warm-up, it meant waking up and getting ready really early and being in the bus by 6am. 

3

Daybreak 

On the morning that I rode the bus with the two teams at 6am, I asked myself — Why do I still do this? I don’t have a son playing in this tournament… Why wake up early? Why even spend the day on the field?

And then I see the boys.

4

Habagat represent!

I see the smiles on their faces. I see their excitement. 

I see their determination and grit.

8.1

I see their courage in the face of bigger, stronger boys. I also see their eagerness and willingness to learn, to get better.

8

Hi, Callum! Habagat 2015 

I get to experience baseball moments, however small or grand, in and out of the field. I  also get to see relationships — friendships– being formed.

5

Two teams, One Habagat.

Plus, I get to meet new people, form new friendships of my own.

Incidentally, in all my 7 years of being part of the Club, I do think that this is one of the coolest bunch of parents that I have spent tournament days with. 

These parents cheered like crazy and they supported each player, not just their own sons. And you know what, the players responded. The boys appreciated being cheered on.  The parents gave whatever support they can, the way they knew how. 

What’s commendable, too, was the fact that these parents knew their boundaries and did not overstep them. They let the coaches coach and the players play. Talk about respect.

Going back to my question on why I still do this… Perhaps I still get myself involved in the sport because as I watch the boys grow and learn, I also grow and learn with them.

So that was basically how the week went. Daily baseball games, a little shopping on the side (with a lot of walking)… 

Lots of stories, fun and laughter with fellow parents. Lots of selfies, too.

On our last day, well, we got to spend it with the most important person in Singapore (at least in my book)…

This is home.

So, all that kept me busy this November.

Maybe by the time I get to post this seemingly neverending blog, well, December will be just a day away.  I think I am now ready to get that warm, fuzzy feeling back.  

I will set up our Christmas tree tomorrow, lights and all.

😉 

*********

This blog was written 28th of Nov. 2017. Photos are mostly mine.

Eggs, christmas lights and Monday morning

good morning sunshine!

8:30am Monday
I had to rush out the house the moment I woke up. 

It’s the last week of the month, meaning it is nearing month-end… which also means there are payables all lined up, waiting to be settled. 

The thought of having to withdraw money on a Monday morning just to settle bills made me want to groan.  Yet I decided to look at the bright side — at least I still had money to withdraw.  I’m still fortunate.

*****

I decided to pass by the supermarket to get some stuff after going to the ATM.  I just got the essentials that I wasn’t able to get the last time I went.  Eggs, coffee, cooking oil, green tea.  That was about it.  Seriously, I had to stop myself from splurging again.  It was too early, after all.

As the cashier was packing the things that I bought, the egg tray slipped from her hands.  Out rolled a dozen eggs, two of which cracked right away the moment they hit the counter, while the others miraculously survived the fall.

I could see the look of panic on the cashier’s eyes.  First she tried to save the eggs… then she placed them all back in the tray… then I saw her eyes looking around, probably checking if her supervisor is somewhere near our counter. 

With eyes brimming with tears, she asked me if she could just pay for the broken eggs because if we return the whole tray, they will have to deduct the amount from her pay. 

I think she was waiting for me to shout at her or tell her off for being so clumsy and for not doing things right.

I just stared at the girl for a brief moment.

Two broken eggs.  Monday morning.  It’s not even 9:30am yet.  If I caused a scene, it will probably ruin this girl’s whole day — not even just the morning.  Worse, it could ruin mine, too. 

Calmly I told her it’s okay.  She offered to pay me again, but I said there’s no need.  I just told her to be more careful next time. 

She gave me a smile of relief and several thank you’s.

I walked out of the supermarket knowing that I did the right thing. 

***

Sometime during the day I had to go out again to get some Christmas lights for the house.  I didn’t want to spend much anymore so I told myself I would stick to a budget. 

As I was checking out the lights displayed in one department store, this saleslady approached me and told me that they have a buy one take one promo for Christmas lights at the third floor. 

I was able to get ten packs — for the price of five.  And each pack cost much cheaper even, compared to the others being sold elsewhere.  It was a true bargain.  I was so happy!

Was it luck?  No, I believe it was more of a blessing.  I also think that it was somewhat connected to the morning that I didn’t allow to get ruined by a couple of broken eggs. 

My day could have gone the other way.

 

**********

photo via clipart/google images

 

 

Savoring the moment

It smells like Christmas!

I met up with my sister early yesterday morning for our first Christmas shopping date.

I can’t believe that October’s almost over and it will be Christmas in two months time.  Where has the year gone??  It seems just like yesterday when I was planning the family’s US vacay ( which in reality took place March and April).  And then I got busy planning my son’s baseball tournament in Korea (which happened mid-July)… And then we were off to Singapore for yet another tournament (this time, early this month).  Now I’m planning for Christmas. 

Yes, there still were times in-between projects when I seriously got bored out of my wits.  However,  planning trips can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking that I truly welcomed those long, boring days just the same.

Planning is one thing, travelling is another.  Everywhere we went, it felt like we were running after time.  The days were never enough.  You try to stop the hours, savor the minutes, before you realize it, you’re back home and the trip is nothing more but a memory. 

running with time

Six months ago, I was exploring the Huntington Botanical Gardens with my best friend.  Three months ago, I was in Korea, cheering for our baseball team like crazy– or posing in front of a camera like a K-pop icon.  Three weeks ago, I was eating in this small Indian restaurant at Turf City in Singapore, chatting with its very friendly owner, telling him how much we were enjoying the food. 

Where did the year go?!

Now I am here, back home…  planning for Christmas… finalizing my list… working on my budget.  I don’t see any out of town trips in the near future… I foresee more trips to the mall, though.

 *** ***

Whether it’s a grand family vacation, an important sports tournament, or an afternoon trip to the mall, it’s how we make each moment count that matters.  In fact, we should appreciate even those boring days.  Like I said above, I welcome long, boring afternoons with open arms after a toxic number of days.  I try to make each boring minute count. 

Perhaps it’s during those boring moments when you get to stop and let it all soak in.  It’s when you are not too busy that you get to think more about the things, the time and the people that you have in your life.  You remember and appreciate… and you feel grateful.

Happiness!

Leaving you some words of wisdom from Mr. Ferris Beuller (Ferris Beuller’s Day-Off, 1986) :

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

 Try NOT to miss it.

*** *** *** *** ***

photos via weheartit.com, photo of  Christmas decor from my digicam.