Saturday, November 28, 2009

Reflections on Joyful Journeys - Salt Lake City

December is definitely the month for reflection on the passing year...and though I might be a couple of weeks early, I thought I'd start looking back at some of my joyful journeys!

In April, Mom and I traveled to Salt Lake City. It was an early Mother's Day Trip - a tradition we began last year when we went to Vancouver. (We went earlier this year because she wanted to make sure she'd be home for the arrival of grandbaby #8!) We'd been to Salt Lake many times before, but this was still an exciting trip because it was Mom's first time to attend General Conference live!

The trip was a wonderful experience and we experienced so many blessings! First, a friend emailed me about an amazing seat sale for our flight ($491 total for BOTH our tickets!), then we were able to book tickets at the Plaza at Temple Square (which we later learned was usually booked solid before for Conference!), then we were able to rent a car for less than $50 for the entire trip!

It was so great to be in Salt Lake City again! I love the mountains, Temple Square, the wide streets, and (though some may call me crazy) driving on the freeways!

One of my favorite views of the Salt Lake Temple - from the Joseph Smith Memorial Building!

Another blessing - being able to connect (via Facebook) a couple of months before the trip, with a long-lost friend who'd served a full-time mission here over 20 years ago! She was one of the sisters who had taught one of my Lolas the gospel, which resulted in her baptism! We met B and her husband M at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for a wonderful lunch! The best part was that even though the years had gone by, the bonds of friendship were still strong!

Mom with B & M at our lunch in the JSMB! We had so much fun! It was hard to believe it had been over 20 years since we last saw them!

We attended the Saturday morning session in the Tabernacle - a marvelous work and a wonder of a building! Maybe I was being a bit fanciful, but I thought about the past prophets who'd spoken from that historic pulpit, from Brigham Young to Gordon B. Hinckley...and how the echo of their voices could still be heard resounding there, if one listened hard enough!

We had tickets to the Conference Center for the Saturday afternoon session, and were able to find friends from home to sit with in that amazing throng of people! Oh what an experience to be in that marvelous and wonderful building! To sit in the presence of the Lord's chosen leaders, the prophet and apostles; to listen to their wise and inspired counsel, and to feel the Spirit was such a blessing!

We watched the huge crowds leaving the Conference Center after the Saturday morning session, while eating lunch in our hotel room!

Saturday evening we went for dinner with some friends from home who were also in SLC for Conference! We went to Tucanos Brazilian Grill (highly recommended by P.B.), and found a new reason to love Salt Lake City! It was an amazing restaurant - the Brazilian lemonade, the HUGE salad bar, the 17 different types of rotisserie meats, and of course, the PINEAPPLE! We had such a fun time! I've promised Joc, who'd just gotten her mission call then, that we'd go back to celebrate her mission homecoming!

After another great session in the Tabernacle on Sunday morning, mom and I hit the freeway and headed for Logan! We went to visit the O family! We were able to watch the last session in their home, and have a very nice dinner together. They used to live down the street from us, and are pretty much family, so it was wonderful to spend time together, and hard to say

Then again, I think the best blessing, the JOY that comes from knowing the gospel is knowing that "it's never goodbye" when it comes to friends and family in the church! No matter the physical distances between us, and no matter how long it's been between contacts, we can know that there is always JOY in the reunion!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mr. "Stick-to-itiveness"

I just realized that I haven't done a November birthday tribute for my brother Eph! Growing up, he and I were very different in personality and temperament! He was always the shy, quiet, no-desire-to-be-in-the-spotlight brother. Any of his free time was often spent sketching and drawing on whatever piece of paper he could find. His favorite subject? Spiderman. He kept working on and developing his talent until now, I'm certain, his artwork is worthy of a comic book cover! He achieved a 100% mark for his Grade 12 Art class, and so impressed his teacher that the teacher handmade a special award just for Eph! That's one of the things I admire most about this brother of mine, his "stick-to-itiveness" until the job is done, and done right.

He was the first member of our family to serve as a full time missionary! He served for two years in California, and came back assertive and confident - bye, bye shy and quiet! He was a good example for me to follow when I left for my mission 5 months after he came home!

He is now a great husband and dad, and though it was definitely not easy, went back to university to complete a 5-year double degree course! He is now in his 2nd year of teaching high school full-time!

I'm very proud to call myself his sister, and am thankful for all he brings to our family!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Indigo Books, Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino...a fun tradition!

I spent a great day with my niece Belle on Monday! We continued the tradition which we'd started last year to celebrate her birthday. We went for lunch, browsed to our hearts' content at our favorite store - Indigo Books, and finished it off with some treats from Starbucks!

It's hard for me to believe that she is now twelve years old! Wasn't it just the other day that I marveled at the soft, sweet-smelling, round bundle as she was placed into my first-time-auntie arms?! (Cue music to "Sunrise, Sunset"...) Now she is almost as tall as I am! However, she is still a marvel to me! She is becoming a well-rounded young woman as she develops her skills and abilities in many pursuits! She is learning to play piano and flute, she swims and likes long distance running, she has a voracious appetite for reading, and has received awards for her academic prowess at school! She is also eager to get going in her Personal Progress program, and has already finished one value experience! Way to go!

She is soft spoken - though the speed at which she speaks has increased a lot! She is a kind and thoughtful older sister to Tori and Ethan. She is a joy and blessing to our family!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thirty days hath September...

...and quite a few of those days are family members' birthdays! Here are the tributes!

September 1 - Kelly, another one of the women brave enough to marry one of my brothers! Hahaha! She has a big heart, is a great mom to Emma, Eden, and Teo, and impresses me with the fact that she's tough enough to take on "Captain America" a.k.a. James! I also like that she never forgets that it's Taco Tuesday!
September 4 - Emma! Wonderful, kind, thoughtful Emma! I can't believe that this niece of mine is already 11! She is so fun to have around! Eden and Teo are so lucky to have her for a big sister! She's into the Jonas Brothers, loves singing Taylor Swift songs, and is reading the Twilight saga (which I have yet to attempt!). She also loves watching hockey with her dad, and especially cheering on her favorite Calgary Flames!
September 8 - Teo is a year old! Yes, he is as adorable in real life as in this picture! He is also very smart...he knows how to sign "more", "please", and "thank you"! His mom taught him how, and we hope he won't forget when he starts speaking! He loves to give kisses and his smiles light up the room!

September 24 - My first SIL, Jenn! She and Eph have been married for almost 15 years! Amazing! I still kinda regret not being at the wedding (though I had a really good excuse!). I admire how organized she is - in spite of having a bunch of kids running around her house all week - her own and the ones she looks after, her house is almost always neat and tidy! I'll have to ask her her secret one of these days!

September 6 - My one and only Dad! I see so much of him in me - and not just when I look in a mirror! I know that my love for reading, sports, history, and war movies came from watching, learning from, and spending time with him! He's also been a great example of hard work and sacrifice! Most of all, there is no question whatsoever in my mind that he LOVES his family, and his greatest JOY is spending time with all of us!

September 19 - My WONDERFUL Mom! This amazing woman has been one of the best blessings in my life! I don't know if I will ever be able to describe the gratitude I feel that she is my mom! She is my best friend, my inspiration, my confidante, and my biggest fan! She has taught me the lessons that have helped me most in my life. She is truly the heart of our family!

Those are only the birthdays of immediate family members! I also have an aunt, and uncle whose birthdays are in September! I often wondered why September is such a popular month for birthdays...and then a wise friend of mine said, "because it's nine months after Christmas!" Hahaha! I guess she should know, her birthday is Sept. 25th! :D

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

It has been far too long since I last posted! I could start offering excuses of poor time management, or just plain old laziness, but instead I'm just going to begin posting again, right now!

I think that this renewed resolve to blog stems from something that happened the other day...I bought new refill pages for my planner. As I was replacing the old, worn, written and doodled-on pages with the crisp and clean new ones, I couldn't help but stop and browse through the old ones. As I started reading the notes on the pages, I realized that I held a treasure trove of memories in my hands! Time goes by so quickly (hence the title quotation!) and somehow along the way, I'd forgotten to look around! I'd become so focused on the "here and now" that my perspective had become very narrow and small! It's almost as if the things I'd been doing had become a "checklist" and my sense of accomplishment had come from getting the many items checked off! I'd started this blog to help me to find and recognize Joy in the Journey, and instead had gotten wrapped up in getting from Point A to Point B, that I'd forgotten the purpose!

Well, I can't go back, but I can look back and share some of my thoughts and feelings about joys in my recent journeys! Here I go...

It looks as if my last post was about my brand new nephew, Nico! He is now 6 months old, and definitely a joy in my life! I love to see him smile!

I've also missed some birthday tributes along the way, so here they are!

May 20 - My SIL May! She is married to Bob, and mom to Brooklyn and Nico! And if that wasn't accomplishment enough, she's a dental hygienist too! She's great and I'm glad she's in our family!

July 19 - Brooklyn is now 2! She is constantly a source of amazment and laughter for me! She has an impressive vocabulary, and I love how she finds everything "beautiful and fantastic"! We share a love for songs from "Beauty & the Beast" - she knows a lot of the words! When the scriptures talk about needing to be child-like to be worthy of heaven, I know they're talking about being like Brooklyn!

August 11 - My cousin Ethel has been in Canada for almost 3 years now! She has applied for her permanent resident status, and is now working with us in the family business. She's not as shy as she was upon arrival, and can now give as good as she gets when being teased by Bob!

I'll continue the birthday tributes in a new post, as the month of September is the busiest month of the year for birthdays in our family!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bundle of JOY!

I just wanted to post that I have become an aunt for the EIGHTH time! My new and utterly adorable nephew, Nico, was born yesterday! I got to meet the handsome guy tonight, and he's perfect! I thought about a quotation I once came across would be entirely apropos,

"A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on." - Carl Sandburg.

I completely agree, and add another one,

"Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever fresh and radiant possibility." - Kate Douglas Wiggin

I'm looking forward to the new adventures of Nico!

P.S. I can't believe it's been a month since my last post! Wow! Time flies!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Little Miss Sunshine...I mean, Energizer Bunny!

We were worried when she was going through her "terrorist two's" ("terrible" was NOT accurate enough)! I am pleased to report that she has mellowed a bit. She is so full of energy and if there were some way to harness it, she'd light up a city block by herself! She loves to sing, and makes up her own original "songs" - music and lyrics! She also loves to dance! Her hobbies include collecting "princess shoes" (of which she has at least 9 pairs - I don't think I own 9 pairs of real shoes), and fashion accessories, including a tiara! I love that she has been blessed with a great imagination, and love for telling stories! Life is full of surprises and excitement with this wonderful little gal around! Happy 6th Birthday to my niece Eden!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"We are family...I got all my sistahs with me..."

Just a quick post about the great time I had at our ward Relief Society Social tonight! It was to celebrate the anniversary of the organization of RS in Nauvoo, Illinois, on March 17, 1842.

Our ward's theme for this year was from Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven". The tables were decorated "seasonally", and the sisters were invited to sit at the tables according to their birth month.

There was an AMAZING dinner - salad, roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, green and yellow beans with carrots, homemade buns, and lumpia! And for dessert, a very yummy chocolate mousse! I have to admit, we ate a LOT!

After dinner was a great "fashion show", starring the ward Young Women. They modeled the "seasons in a woman's life collection" - from the white gown worn at baptism, to white wedding gowns, to "comfy" mom clothes! It was a great time and the YW did a fantastic job!

Having grown up as the only girl with three brothers, I am grateful for the many sisters I have been blessed with through YW and RS! I have learned so much from them all, older and younger sisters...and I didn't have to worry about any clothes missing from my closet! How thankful I am for the Young Women, and Relief Society organizations! Through them I have truly learned my worth and purpose as a woman!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Beautiful Saturday!

Today was a GORGEOUS day -- filled with sunshine, blue skies...and above freezing temperatures! Oh, the JOY to know that another winter season is coming to an end! I was walking around outside, and didn't have to wear a coat! I had a sweater on, and it felt so AMAZING! I felt so much FREEDOM in not having to wear my bulky, down-filled jacket!

There were BIG puddles of melted snow and ice everywhere! I didn't even mind getting splashed by other vehicles (as long as I was inside my vehicle!). The only "problem" I encountered was that my rear window wiper wasn't working, and boy did I need it today! Oh well, I'll get it fixed on Monday!

Another big reason why today was so wonderful was because it was my niece Tori's baptism day! Our entire family was able to gather together for this important step in Tori's life! It's amazing to think that she's old enough to be baptized, the time has flown by! She was so lovely in her white dress! She was also quite the trooper when the ordinance had to be re-done a couple of times, due to the skirt of her dress popping up and not being completely immersed in the water! The water was also very cold! I think it'll help make this day very memorable!

I think my favorite part of the baptismal service was when all of my nieces, and Ethan got up to sing "I Am A Child of God"! It was so fun to watch the expressions on their cute faces, and so moving to hear their voices singing this beloved song! I am so grateful for the blessing of being their aunt! They bring me so much JOY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My brother is a...SUPERHERO!

I'll bet you never knew that one of my brothers was a superhero! And not just any superhero, Captain America! He'll probably disown me for posting this pic (and possibly for revealing his "secret identity"), but I just wanted the world to know what an awesome brother I have!

Although the costume, boots, and shield have been retired, he's still got amazing powers that he uses every day! My favorite 3 are: he's a wonderful dad to three great children, he makes the BEST eggs benedict breakfast ever, and his huge heart is always generous to his friends and family! I hope he knows how proud I am to be his sister!

Happy Birthday James, you'll always be Captain America to me!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February Family Tributes

I've been meaning to write about my family...the people whom I most associate with bringing joy into my life! However, I wasn't sure how to go about such a monumental task. Then I had an idea, I will write about them as their birthdays come along sort of a tribute!

I am already behind for the month of February, as three birthdays have already gone by! But, better late than never! Here it goes!

February 11 - My Lola Lourdes. We called her "Lola Pasig", because that was where she was from in the Philippines. She lived with us when she moved here from the Philippines. I shared a room with her from the time I was 8 years old until I was almost 15 and a half. I'm sure she didn't appreciate having a messy teenager as a roomie, but I can't recall she ever complained! She took care of me and my brothers, and was very protective. I remember her standing on our back step, calling for us to return, if we ever ventured too far away from our yard for her comfort. She was very kind and loving, and though she never really learned how to speak English, we knew that she loved us. It was difficult to watch as she was eventually overtaken by Alzheimer's disease, to look in her eyes and not see any recognition there. It's hard to believe that it's already been seven years since she passed away. I am grateful to know that I will see her again someday, and that she will no longer be hampered by age and disease. I look forward to that day!

February 14 - Auntie Nina...nee Valentina - for obvious reasons! She is my very talented in the sewing department aunt! She has been the one to bring to fruition many costumes and clothing I've designed. I am sorely lacking in the ability to sew, if I could make clothes with a glue gun or a stapler I'd be set! I truly admire and appreciate her patience and willingness to help me when such a need arises. We also had a fun time when we went to Las Vegas!

February 18 - My niece, Tori! I love this girl! She is so fun and has brought so much laughter and joy to my life! She is extremely photogenic...whether the picture is serious or not! She also has a beautiful singing voice, and is a true performer! She's a big HSM fan...and so is pretty easy to shop for! It's hard to believe that she is now eight years old! The time has gone by so quickly! I treasure the many memories I have with her, and I know that there will always be joy when she is around!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Winter Wonderland

I was delighted when I went to a youth skating activity yesterday morning, and the sunshine was glorious! There was still a bit of a cold wind, but seeing the cloudless and blue sky warmed my heart! It was so fun to be outside, to breathe the crisp air, to hear the laughter of the youth as they played an improvised game of "hockey/soccer" with a water bottle filled with ice and snow.

My favorite experience was skating down the trail and coming upon a father teaching his young son how to skate. The boy was shaky, scared to fall, but his dad had a secure grip on him, and with patience and gentle encouragement, was guiding him down the path. I came upon them again later, when I was skating back up the trail, and they were sitting on a bench to rest. The thought entered my mind that in a season or two, the boy would probably be racing his dad down the trail.

I will be the first to admit that I am not a "winter person". This winter has been a particularly tough one...FREEZING, FRIGID, BITTERLY COLD...have all been words I've used too frequently this year (and it's only mid-February!). I am grateful to have had an experience like yesterday to remind me that growth can occur when the ground is frozen. I am also grateful to have seen that father's love and patience in teaching his son. It was a wonderful day!

I found JOY in the journey on this path yesterday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Let your light so shine...

Any time I can play with my craft tools is a good time! I was finally able to attempt a new craft project tonight! I used my Cricut machine to cut adhesive vinyl to decorate some votive candle holders! I used the Young Women/Young Men 2009 Mutual Theme as inspiration. It's found in 1 Timothy 4:12, "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity," . It turned out pretty simple, but I'm pleased with the results! Not too bad for a first attempt!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Music is what feelings sound like." - Author Unknown

I just finished reading another great post on a friend's blog! Yvonne's "Top Ten Things I Love : Letter L", included the musical, Les Miserables! As I was reading, I remembered how I felt the first time I'd ever heard the musical's soundtrack. I was not very familiar with the story, having never read the book, but I found the music to be so powerful that I wept. Now, I can be the sappy, sentimental (my dad says "semi-mental") type who chokes up during some commercials, but my reaction to the music of Les Mis was beyond the "sniffle" stage. My heart broke along with Eponine's as she sang, "...without me, his world will go on turning, a world that's full of happiness that I have never known....". I got goosebumps as the entire cast and chorus sang, "...tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store, One more dawn, One more day...One day more!" Thankfully no one else was around to call the men with the "little white coats that fasten in the back"! Hahaha!

So now, years and years after the experience, I'm suddenly wondering why I reacted that way. What is it about some music that transcends the notes and lyrics on the page, and engages our minds and hearts so as to elicit such a powerful response? I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever felt this way!

I came across this quotation, "Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life." Perhaps that is why powerful music sometimes causes us to weep. Our tears are washing "the dust of everyday life" away from our souls. I am grateful for beautiful music that stirs my heart and brings me feelings of compassion, empathy, wonderment, love......JOY!

Besides Les Miserables, my "JOY playlist" would include songs from:

- Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (especially "Close Every Door", "Any Dream Will Do", "Song of the King")
- Women At the Well ("Close Enough to Touch", "He Came For Me")
- The Sound of Music ("Do Re Mi", "Eidelweiss")
- The Wizard of Oz ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow", "If I Only Had A Brain")
- Newsies ("Seize the Day")

...and so many more!!

Your turn to share...What are some favorite songs/music that bring you joy?

P.S. This was also partly inspired by Theresa's post about seeing Madama Butterfly for the first time in the Sydney Opera House!
P.P.S. Hooray...more than one post this week!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I've been getting "tagged" a lot on Facebook by friends who want to know 25 Random Things about me. Then I was "challenged" by Jess, via her blog, to make a list too (though hers was only 6 things). So I will kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and post my list here!

1. I am very acrophobic. I get the "jittery/weak" feeling in my legs when I stand on a chair to get something out of the kitchen cupboard. I'm also a poor swimmer.
2. The craziest/most terrifying thing I've ever done, was to jump off of a waterfall while on vacation in Mexico. NO, it was not alcohol-related (I'm LDS and do not drink!) was giving in to was dumb - see above for reasons why.
3. I have never broken a bone in my body, though I did have to get stitches on my left leg in the 4th grade. I jumped off the monkey bars, and landed on a piece of broken glass. I still have a scar!
4. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 25, and passed on the first try!
5. I drove down to Las Vegas with a friend four months after getting my driver's license.
6. Singing while driving my car helps me to be more patient...most of the time...I also love singing in the shower - Disney tunes mostly.
7. I love word games and word puzzles. I could play Boggle for hours!
8. My brain retains a lot of trivia, which is good since I also love Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit.
9. I'm trying to learn how to play guitar and's a work in progress.
10. I love dancing to 80s music!
11. Watching "Field of Dreams" always makes me cry. Maybe I "read" too much into it.
12. My baking skills leave a lot to be desired. The need for exact measuring of ingredients gets me every time. I'm more of a "pinch of this, a dash of that, a smidge more of the other" kind of gal.
13. Serving a full-time mission in the Philippines was one of the greatest learning periods of my life.
14. I love being an aunt! My nieces and nephews bring so much JOY into my life!
15. My parents created my name by combining theirs. ROdrigo + eMILIA = ROMELIA (they changed the first "i" to an "e", which I think looks better)
16. I rarely go by my full first name, so the short forms of their names also works. ROd + eMY = ROMY.
17. I don't have a middle name.
18. If I could leave for an all-expenses paid vacation anywhere in the world right at this moment, I'd go to Italy...Ciao!
19. In the 3rd grade, I learned how to play football to impress a boy...who was my date at our 12th grade grad!
20. My favorite smells include freshly mown grass, wood smoke in the winter evening air, and the pages of a new book when it's first opened.
21. I wish I had the patience to learn how to sew my own clothes.
22. I'm not squeal-ish about bugs, worms, mice, etc. Though I didn't like it when a spider crawled onto my forehead once...let's just say he didn't survive the encounter.
23. One of my favorite "perks" about living in Canada is that my birthday will always be a national holiday - July 1st, a.k.a. Canada Day! Whoo Hoo!
24. I always put my left shoe on first.
25. My favorite poem is The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost. The last stanza is my favorite,
"I shall be telling this with a sigh, Somewhere ages and ages hence, Two roads diverged in a wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Confessions of a "Cricuteer"

Yes, I am a "Cricuteer"...a proud owner of a Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter! I received one as a gift a couple of Christmases ago, and I looooove it! I am an aspiring paper crafter, and it's my most favorite crafting tool - and I have a LOT of tools! I'm not kidding! My "addiction" store is Michael's, and I can't walk into WalMart for a pack of gum without a visit to their craft department! Family members often wonder why I need so many supplies and tools. Isn't that akin to asking a chef why he needs so many different ingredients, spices, knives, utensils, pots and pans in his kitchen?!

George Bernard Shaw said, "Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will."

Isn't that neat? So wouldn't it be a shame if the creative process would be frustrated by something running out of double-sided photo tape, or not having the right decorative-edged scissors, or being a half page short of just the right shade of sage green embossed self-adhesive cardstock (btw, totally kidding about that last example...I've yet to find embossed self-adhesive cardstock) Hahaha!

My Cricut tools are a category in themselves...and I've recently added to them by purchasing the "Jukebox" and also the Design Studio Software. My newest adventure into the Cricut realm of crafting will be cutting adhesive vinyl. I admit I'm pretty excited to try it!

I look forward to the day when I'll be able to post pics of my craft room (at present it looks as if a tornado touched down and stayed a while) and the imaginative creations that will come to pass! Ahhh...sweet dreams are made of this!

P.S. This blog was inspired by joelle...who joined the "Cricuteer" ranks this past Christmas when she got a Cricut Create! It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my "mania"! Happy crafting!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy...but happier still when it's on my face.

I had a great time at the ward primary activity last evening! It was a culture night, and I helped to do a presentation on the Philippines. As I gathered "souvenirs" I'd brought home from serving my mission there, and Googled the latest facts and stats , I felt a lot of gratitude. I am grateful to have come from such a culturally rich and diverse place. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity to move to, and grow up in Canada. The opportunities afforded to my family and me here, could never have happened had we stayed in the Philippines. Though it is a great country in its own right, it is not the easiest place to live, and raise a family. I'm glad my parents had the foresight and courage to transplant us to this "brave new world". I'm sure it wasn't easy for them to leave all that was dear and familiar. I know it was quite a culture shock for me when I returned to the Philippines to serve a full-time mission! (That will be the subject of a future post or two I'm sure.)

Ah ha! So this post helped me to go back to the true purpose of this blog, which is to become more aware of, and thus more grateful for, the joys in my life! Mostly I think it's helped me realize that although the frigid weather has returned, it's all a part of the wonderful blessing to live in Canada! Hahahaha! At least the brilliant sunshine has returned too! I love the fact that I have to squint to look up at the cloudless blue sky today! I think I'll bask in the sunshine some more now....

P.S. Hope springs eternal that I'll one day raise my posting average! I've at least maintained it (currently at one/week) by writing today!

P.P.S. I'm not sure why this isn't coming as easily as I thought it would. I've never found writing in my journals as...daunting? Maybe it's because my journals have always been for a reading audience Maybe, I should just stop stressing about this so much, and just write. After all, no one else has to read this if they so choose, right? Hahaha!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friendship and Chocolate Toffee Pudding

Yeah! Another post! And it only took a week to do it! This whole blogging thing seems to be tougher than I was anticipating - though I think a lot of worthwhile things in life seem to be, at first!

Today was a WONDERFUL day for a number of reasons! First, the temperature finally rose above "bitterly cold"! I have been trying to not complain so much in view of the other calamitous weather that has been occuring in other parts of the world. However, even the most hardy, and "seasoned" Winterpeggers were beginning to fray at the edges this year! I was afraid that the break in this frigid winter was going to be...well...spring! So, hooray...I was able to walk outside with my jacket unzipped, and without worrying about how quickly any exposed skin was going to freeze!

Another reason today was great was because I met up with a friend for lunch! Sounds pretty run-of-the-mill and ordinary right? Well...considering that it's been almost 20 years since we had seen each other, it was pretty out of the ordinary!

Jo and I met in 6th grade, and became collectors and traders of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat posters! I made sure I gave her all of the Duran Duran (and especially John Taylor) ones I found, and in return she gave me all the C.Thomas Howell (where is he now?!) ones she found. Hahaha! It was a rewarding system! However, we unfortunately lost touch shortly after high school graduation. Then...along came Facebook! So a BIG shout out to Facebook for facilitating our "mini-reunion"! She's been living across "the Pond" (and has a great accent and "English" vocab) for about 10 years. Hopefully it won't be another 20 years before I get the chance to reconnect with more "long, lost friends"!

By the way, the Chocolate Toffee Pudding at Earl's was YUUUUUMMMMY!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year's Resolution

Hooray! I'm actually keeping (okay, technically starting) a resolution that I've made for this year...this blog!

This is my initial foray into the world of blogging...other than reading friends' blogs! I love the quotation under my blog's title, and so will endeavor to use it as the purpose for keeping my blog!

I hope to record my "relishing" of life, to witness of the joys I find in my journey, and share love with the amazing friends and family I've been blessed with in my life!

To all who may visit and spend some of your precious time here - thank you and happy reading!