My December 2013 in Photos

Now where did the time go? It's time to say good bye to 2013. It was one amazing year. God is indeed good and faithful.

And here's what happened to me this December -- 

Day 1 - Red (A very rich red fruit I found in the supermarket. I think this could be red pear.)
2 - Where I stood (This is how I run errands with my baby Caleb. He is strapped in his baby carrier while I go around and do things.)
3 - Silver (The book signing table for the King's birthday.)
4 - Tiny (What a pretty ornament from Starbucks!)
5 - In the cupboard (Originally, just Starbucks city mugs. Then as I meet fellow collectors I ended up with postcards, key chain, magnets and Momiji dolls.)
6 - Shadow (Found a reindeer in Bangkok.)
7 - 6 o'clock (When the husband is working on a Saturday night, I order a pizza for me and my toddler. Too lazy to cook.)
8 - I shop here (My favorite stores' loyalty cards
9 - This is the weather today (21 degrees C on a Monday morning. Yahoo Weather got it right, it is foggy today.)
10 - R is for... ROCKER. (My son's rocker aka my savior now.)
11 - Green (A box full of memories. My journals over the years.)
12 - Joy is... raising these two boys. (It is a blessing that I can be a stay-at-home mom and raise our two boys.)
13 - Composition (I love the details on these mugs. They are Starbucks' Relief series Christmas version. From left to right - Paris, Berlin and Hong Kong. )
14 - Drink (This day calls for a glass of sauvignon blanc.)
15 - Lights  (Leaves on the floor)
16 - Makes me feel merry (The sight of Christmas decorations)
17 - Tree (Saw this industrial looking Christmas tree while I was out running errands.)
18 - Big (My very own Santa Baby in an oversized onesie.)
19 - 'Tis the season to BE CURIOUS (My pre-schooler is learning about Christmas and he is very very curious.)
20 - I'm listening to (We saw the movie Frozen and we fell in love with the songs. So I'm taking a break from Christmas songs and putting this on repeat the entire day.)
21 - On the door (Our building management prohibits us from putting anything on the door or outside the door. What a scrooge! Hmph!)
22 - Sparkly (One of the beautiful Christmas cards we received.)
23 - Tradition (Christmas is the season to receive and give gifts.)
24 - Wrapped (Wrapped in brotherly love)
25 - Best bit of my day (Javi was singing to his little brother. And Caleb liked it. He was smiling. It warms my heart seeing them together.)
26 - Where I slept (There's a tiny hand on my side of the bed.)
27 - What I'm doing (The life of a multitasking momma)
28 - Something awesome (Picked this up to celebrate Caleb's third month)
29 - Reflect: Best bit(s) of 2013 (Video from Flipagram. A blog post followed.)
30 - Me ("I")
31 - Celebrate (One of the goodies I prepared for New Year's eve. Yes, it's a day to bake cupcakes.)

And that's a wrap, everyone. Let me enjoy the rest of my 2013 and welcome 2014 with open arms. 

Here's wishing everyone the best this new year!

The Year (2013) That Was

What an amazing year 2013 has been. I do love new year. It's a time to reflect about what happened the entire year, be grateful and then look forward to next year. It's a fresh start.

There were heartaches. The major one would be the passing away of my father-in-law. Life moves on.

Then there are God's biggest blessings to my family.

Here's what I am grateful for this 2013. My year in 4 seconds, thanks to Flipagram.

  • Early this year, we took a trip to Hanoi and we enjoyed our family time there.

  • Watching sunset at the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake.

  • Javi started school. 

  • Our two week trip to the Philippines.

  • Javi and his teacher Joanne on the last day of the summer term.

  • We have new loyalties. Jed started working for The Peninsula Bangkok mid this year.

  • A relatively easy second pregnancy.

  • My new favorite Rockets Benedict from our go-to brunch place Rocket Coffee Bar.

  • Our second child, Caleb, was born.

  • Found my super favorite coffee mug. It's white on the outside and pink inside

  • Discovered the best bagel in Bangkok and they are walking distance from where I live.

  • Another favorite restaurant and dish. Xiao Long Bao from Din Tai Fung

  • My Santa Baby, Caleb. He is one happy baby. 

  • The brothers. I love watching them show their love to each other.

  • Same time last year, I wouldn't even think I'd accomplish what I listed down. I didn't even think our family would grow.

    God is amazing. 

    I am looking forward to 2014. I know He has the best plans for me and my family.

    Wishing you all the best in 2014!

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    A Quiet Christmas

    It is my sixth Christmas without my big family and the usual festivities. It is my fourth Christmas away from the Philippines. 

    While most of the Pinoys in Bangkok go home for the holidays, Jed and I chose to stay here in Bangkok. It may seem sad because we are away from our big family & friends, and then Thailand do not really celebrate Christmas. 

    Come to think of it, our small family is complete here. I only need my husband and kids. I can spend Christmas anywhere as long as I am with them. 

    Because our family has grown and Javi is more aware now of what Christmas is, we start to make our own tradition. 

    So how did last Christmas go for us?

    We did wait for Christmas eve and held our own noche buena. Javi opened his remaining gifts. We did not introduce Santa Claus as I wanted him to associate Christmas more with Christ and not Santa. 

    For Christmas morning, I cooked pancakes for my boys. That was fun! 

    We invited a Filipino family here in Bangkok for lunch. They are going back to the Philippines soon so it served as a despedida for them. 

    With the Espinosas and Raya
    As Christmas is a Wednesday, it is not  holiday in Thailand. We figured it would be a good idea to watch a movie. We headed over to Central World and watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. It was a long movie but our dear kiddos slept through the entire movie so Jed and I watched uninterrupted. Yay!

    The giant Christmas tree at Central World
    On the same floor as the movie house is the restaurant, Din Tai Fung. We all love their xiao long bao so why not have it for dinner. 

    Our favorite xiao long bao

    Jed and I shopped a little after dinner. We bought gym clothes. Yes, it would be a good idea to end 2013 working out so the good habit carries over 2014.

    My favorite moment of the day was when Javi would sing for Caleb and the latter was too happy playing with his Kuya. This happened during shopping time. 

    The brothers

    Our Christmas was so different and quiet compared to what we would have if we spent it in the Philippines.  I actually prefer our celebration here. I got to do the things I wanted to do and it was not stressful at all.

    So how did you celebrate your Christmas?

    Love for Christmas Cards

    We have been living in Bangkok for three years now. Since we live abroad, I saw the relevance of keeping in touchwith family and friends. 

    I sent out my first batch of Christmas cards in 2010. We didn't even have a return address then. It was a learning experience. I mailed them too late and some received it as late as February. 

    The following year we had our family photo as our Christmas card. Last year it was a newsletter type as we didn't have an updated family picture. 

    This year, I put together a year in review with our latest family picture. We are blessed to find the Mia Y. Marchadesch-Jaranilla to photograph us. I kept the card simple. And every card was mailed by end of November. 

    I used the Red Stamp iPhone app to make our Christmas cards. It has so many beautiful templates and we had a couple of pictures I want to use. 

    The result: I have six Christmas cards.

    Like I said in Instagram and Facebook, I love receiving Christmas cards, too. And I keep what we receive every year. 

    Here's wishing you the merriest Christmas!

    My November 2013 in Photos

    November is over. TOO FAST. 

    Did you know that November is my favorite month? It has something to do with getting wiser (and older) and that December follows after. 

    It was a wonderful and challenging month. Husband went on a business trip. I managed with taking care of our two boys for a week. 

    Well, here's what happened to me in November --

    Day 1 - Fruit (I love eating oranges. I find the ones here juicy and sweet.)
    2 - I did this today (Braved going out with a baby and a toddler. Waited in line to be seated. All because I wanted to eat at Din Tai Fung.)
    3 - P is for pink lipstick (Love the color of this lipstick - Pink in the Afternoon.)
    4 - Table (The kiosk I go to every Monday to get my bagel stock for the entire week.)
    5 - I collect...THESE (Originally, just Starbucks city mugs. Then as I meet fellow collectors I ended up with postcards, key chain, magnets and Momiji dolls.)
    6 - Music (Yup, listening to Christmas carols. I'm a Filipino. We start Christmas as early as September.)
    7 - Yes! (Ah, just what I need tonight. I find my favorite movie on cable TV.)
    8 - Someone I miss (Hidden in my drawer is this broken frame where I keep a photo of my father. It's been 13 years but I still miss him tremendously.)
    9 - Mine (A parcel for me from the Netherlands. I have slowed down from trading and collecting Starbucks mug. So it is thrilling to receive a package again.)
    10 - Book (This is THE book. And mine is pink.)
    11 - A memory (A box full of memories. My journals over the years.)
    12 - Clouds (Sathorn Road in Bangkok)
    13 - Part of me  ("Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." - Elizabeth Stone)
    14 - Eating (Snacking on what we call Thailand's version of the Philippine "puto seko.")
    15 - In ny purse  (This is the only thing I bring when I run errands. I love that it is a wristlet and fits my phone inside.)
    16 - Play (Found this on the floor and I smiled. This is what happens when one lives with a toddler.)
    17 - 5 o'clock (A clear afternoon in Bangkok. It is ready for the Loy Krathong festival in the evening.)
    18 - Mirror (From where I sit, I can see my baby silently playing.)
    19 - Where I ate breakfast (This mama needs to multitask so it's quiet time and breakfast in one.)
    20 - Communication (Through this worn out notebook, I exchange messages with Javi's teacher. She updates me how Javi is at school and I would write down any concern I have.)
    21 - I wish I had this (My son's long and curly lashes.)
    22 - Behind (Time to take out the Christmas decoration.)
    23 - Simplicity (I've missed you, Violet Crumble. It had been years. All the while I thought you originated from Canada. My colleagues the Canadian Embassy and AUSTRADE will probably smack me in the head.)
    24 - Word (Slowly starting to decorate our home for Christmas)
    25 - Quirky (They said, one can order butterbeer from Starbucks. It's a regular creme frappuccino with 3 pumps of caramel syrup, 3 pumps of toffee nut latte and caramel drizzle on top. I tried that today.)
    26 - Message (Momiji are message dolls. One writes a message in that tiny strip of paper which you keep in the slot at the bottom of the doll.)
    27 - No! (Horrified when I saw my toddler holding this broken glass. Thankfully, he was not hurt.)
    28 - I am grateful for (My family.)
    29 - Black (My beautiful and useful fan given by my dearest friend)
    30 - All done (The prints are here. Time to update our photo wall.)

    Trust your November was as meaningful as mine.

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