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What an exhausting day!
Father And Son, Autumn 2006
Army Strong, Retirement
Photo taken Nov. 26, 2009 Thanksgiving Day; From left: Gussie Dog, Grandma Sally, Me, Grandpa Leonard, Daddy Matthew, Uncle Les, Uncle Tom and Aunt Collen
Day 4 in Hawaii, Pearl Harbor, Part 1
My Boys, Easter 2013
March 7th, 2012

8 years to a Lifetime

Michael and Charlotte's Wedding Portrait

Michael and Charlotte’s Wedding March 7, 2004, Okaya Catholic Church Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

Read ‘Our Wedding Rite‘ …

It has been 8 years since I married a wonderful man, to whom I made these vows with.

I take you to be my lifetime partner
to be none other than yourself,
to have and to hold; for better or for worse;
in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish
both freed and bound by our love
for as long as we both shall live.

These vows remain true to this day, and with much faith, hope and love – for as long as we both shall live.

They say love is a plunge into the unknown. On the day I married my lifetime partner, I did plunge into the unknown, with both eyes shut. Marrying hubby, I forsake everything else in my life. I just have my love, myself and my whole life to give. And it was the easiest decision I have ever made. To this day, not even a flicker of regret, because he has continued to love me and brought me the happiest days of my life.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!

December 5th, 2011

Santa Claus Revealed

This post was originally published on December 7, 2007. I received a good feedback from this post that I thought it’d be great to publish it again on December 19, 2008.

This year 2011, in honor of the feastday of St. Nickolas, also known as ‘Santa Claus’, on December 6th, I am, again, republishing this post.

How was Santa Claus revealed to you?

There was a time in my childhood, when I really believed in a magical Santa Claus, who comes at Christmas Eve and fills up my favorite ‘sock’ with chocolates. All our questions about Santa Claus were dealt with by my parents by simply replying “… magic!”. We would imagine all sort of stuffs, like, he would transform into thin air to get thru the little opening in the door to get in. (We didn’t have chimney.)

At Christmas morning, my sister and I would rush to the homemade Christmas tree that my mother made, where we hung our favorite ‘socks’. I remember being so excited and delighted with a handful of chocolates we got. We compared chocolates. I remember my father teasing us about who got the most number of chocolates. But of course, it’s the same number. I guess, that was his way of joining in our excitement.

One Christmas came. I think I was 7, my sister was 5. We had to stay with an aunt due to a family crisis. My father was stabbed with a knife early December that year. He was in the Army, and it happened when he was on duty. He was hospitalized, had to undergo series of operation on his belly and lungs. He was in critical condition until Christmas time. My mother was with him every day in the hospital. It was a difficult time.

At Christmas Eve, after attending Midnight Mass with my Aunt, she told us to get ready to sleep. I remember telling her about Santa Claus coming later that night and that we need to hang our socks. She said sort of in panic, “Di ba natanggap mo na nga yung gifts mo galing kay Santa Claus?”(Didn’t you receive your gifts from Santa Claus already?!). She was talking about the Christmas Family Get-together earlier that day, when we received our gifts from my grandparents, aunts and uncles.

I didn’t argue with her because Mama told us to behave. And at that time, I kind’a figured out already about the concept of Santa Claus. I was learning about St. Nicholas in the Catholic school and sharing that to my sister. We just never got any confirmation up until my Aunt spilled the beans.

That Christmas, we didn’t get our Christmas ration of chocolates from Santa but we got the most number of Christmas gifts we have ever received. My sister and I became the recipients of all the unclaimed Christmas gifts my aunt prepared for her god-children who didn’t come to see her at Christmas Day. Not to mention, the overwhelming help we received during that family crisis.

That Chrismas I learned the reality of Santa Claus. That from magical, he becomes real, as he is personified by our loved ones and those who truly care and make our Christmases extra special.

March 2nd, 2011

A Wii Birthday

A Wii Birthday

Happy 33rd Birthday To Me!

I woke up to a big gift bag, 2 cards and a pink cake in the kitchen counter. Happy Birthday to me! I opened the gift bag and found a Wii! Wii! Again, happy birthday to me.

I did say I wanted a Wii for my birthday, when I was playing in my sister-in-law’s house last Christmas. Thank you to my ever-dearest hubby for remembering!

We spent the morning waiting for Daddy to come home and setup the Wii. And since then, Matthew and I have been playing the Wii on the better part of the day in our jammies, while disrupting Baby Mark’s naps. Poor Baby!

For someone who hasn’t worked out her entire life, Wii kicked my butt. At still mid-afternoon, my arms and shoulders are already sore.

A Wii Birthday

A Wii Birthday

Thank you to all who wished me a ‘happy birthday’ here and in Facebook. I am feeling all the love! And I truly have a great birthday!

Special Thanks to:

  • To Hubby for the Wii!
  • To Uncle Les And Aunt Colleen for the greeting card.
  • To Auntie Maribel for being the very first one to greet me.
  • To my cousin Aljay for this birthday message: “Hope your birthday blossoms into lots of dreams come true!“. I am so touched by this unexpected message!
  • To Lori for finding another way to greet me …
  • To Jaime for the compliment
  • To my sister Jessica for the really meaningful Note in Facebook.
February 2nd, 2011

Bold Faced Lies

Can you see through my lies?

Here’s my list of Bold Faced Lies Except One. Can you guess the ONE that is TRUE?

Charlotte

  1. A friend once invited me to go rock-climbing with her. I happily obliged and had so much fun.
  1. Within my years in Japan, I went to Hiroshima to see the Peace Memorial Museum. It displays the remnants of the atomic bombing in 1945 and conveys the horror of that event. That trip was one of the most meaningful trips I’ve ever had.
  1. One of my most memorable childhood memories is walking to the nearby beach in my hometown. My sister and I would swim to our hearts’ content.
  1. A friend and I entered a Duet Singing Contest in college. We didn’t win. I realized that my singing voice couldn’t come out in front of a listening crowd.
  1. The original photo at the right, touched up only for better contrast and sharpness, was taken in New York. Click the photo to see enlarged view.

One of the hardest thing about making this list is making the four lies as creative as possible. And it was also hard to think about ONE true thing about me that I haven’t yet spilled out in my previous About Me posts: 99 Things About Me, Random Facts About Me and all my other revealing posts.

This post will be concluded with my revelation … soon.

TO THOSE WHO KNOW ME WELL, it would be great if you don’t reveal those you know for sure are lies. Got to keep this interesting.

___ o _ O _ o ___

I received the Memetastic Award (meem-tastic) from a new bloggy friend, Sue at dswalkerauther for liking my blog. Thank you very much! I honestly have a hard time picking that 1 true fact about her in her list of Bold Faced Lies.

Sue is the author of the book Delightfully Different. She blogs about prevention of bullying and protection from bullying in school, and a lot more.

The Memetastic Award!To receive the award the following has to be done:

  • Display the award and link to Memetastic Hop.
  • List 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Make your readers guess which one is true among the lies.Please find my list above.
  • Pass this award to 5 bloggers.
  • Please find the complete rules here.

I’m tagging this Memetastic Award to:

  1. Grace at Blessed Elements, a new bloggy friend, for the funny post about her take on encouragement in marriage and for sharing her art.
  2. Collette at JamaicanSpice for sharing the really funny church sign. We need a little humor especially in the very cold unfavorable weather these days.
  3. Amy at A Nest for All Season for the tortilla chips recipe and the energetic dancing performance by her boys.
  4. Jamie at What I Did Today for having a really unique and fun blog to read, about her 2 lovely girls. I don’t know how she’s incorporating this kind’a meme in her very unique blog, or if she’s even going to do this, but for what’s it’s worth, I’m tagging her too.
  5. Grace at Sandier Pastures, my longtime friend who is going to Thailand soon. I have to say, I’m curious if she could make up 4 lies about herself, and if I can tell that 1 fact among the lies.

I hope you’ll have fun with making your list, and making me (us) guess.

January 20th, 2011

Top 3 – Vanities I Can’t Get Over

I have recently written about some trends people, women especially, do in the name of beauty that I don’t get . This time I am listing my own top three vanities.

Read Top 3 – Vanities I Don’t Get.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. ~ John Keats

LONG STRAIGHT BLACK HAIR

If it wasn’t too time-consuming, I’d be straightening my hair everyday and not always tie it on a pony tail. And with two babies, it’s not practical to let my long hair down. My long hair is such a hindrance all the time in most of the domestic stuffs I do. I complain about it a lot. I think about chopping them off. I even planned to do it a few times, but I always end up not doing it. I love my long black hair! I’d continue to love my hair long, even when that day comes when I have to start dyeing them too.

EYE-LINED EYES WITH CURLED EYELASHES

My very first cosmetic product, that I owned, is a dark brown eyeliner pencil. I started wearing eyeliner when I was 14, at 2nd-year High School, at school. At the nun school for girls, that I went to, wearing any makeup was not allowed, but somehow no one really noticed it until after a year. A teacher called me privately and said “I noticed something about your eyes.” Then she looked straight to my eye-lined eyes and said, “I see. ” And then she smiled. I knew she noticed my eyeliner, but she didn’t discouraged me or anything.

After High School, I’ve been liberally putting make-up on, including curling my eyelashes and putting mascara on. At one time, while I was hanging out with a guy friend, I did a little touch up on my makeup. I looked at myself in the mirror and curled my eyelashes with an eyelash curler. I noticed my friend staring at me so intently. I stopped and looked at him. He said (in our Filipino language), “You fooled me. All this time, I thought your curly eyelashes were all natural.” I wanted to say, “They are all naturally curly, but just needed some enhancement .” but I ended up just laughing him off. That time, I didn’t swear off my eyelash curler, but I swore off retouching my makeup in public.

These days, I rarely put makeup on. Actually, I’m lucky if I am able to take a shower. But on those very rare occasion I put makeup on, I always do my eyes first and just a dab of color on my lips. I think I am more keen at keeping my makeup underdone.

Beauty … is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear, but rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears. ~ Kahlil Gibran

EARRINGS

I wear necklaces only if my blouse looks like it needs it. I don’t really like wearing anything in my hands or arms except for my wedding ring. I don’t even wear a wrist watch. But earrings, I love to wear earrings. And I am so particular with my earrings. They must be small to medium sized stud, hoop or dangles in simple to classic design.

Beauty is only skin deep, but it is a valuable asset if you are poor or have not any sense. ~ Kin Hubbard

I think I’ve reached a point in my life when I’ve already reconciled with how I look. I have established which beauty style I like and hopefully, I already know what type of trend would work for me. However, I still try to do improvements and enhancements with my looks. I have mishaps of course, a lot actually. And each mishap is a learning experience, and it becomes, when comforting myself, a reminder of the real meaning of true beauty. These days, while I am unable to do anything for myself, or when I simply procrastinate on myself, the same reminder comforts me. I can only hope that I have a few, if not all, of what it takes for true beauty.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives and the passion that she shows.
The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years. ~Sam Levenson

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