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."