Lovin’ Life

Just lovin’ my life with Jesse

37 weeks May 28, 2009

Yesterday was my 37th week in my pregnancy. I feel like I’m a timed bomb that’s about to go off soon. When? I don’t know! I think Jesse’s very excited for our baby to come soon. He always tells me, “you’re already 37 weeks! Give birth, now!” Hahahaha!!!! He’s a happy daddy! 🙂

Here’s what I’ve been up to since the last time I wrote on my blog: SCRAPBOOKING, watching Jesse watch basketball and baseball games online (or with our friends), trying out different recipes (especially chicken recipes because that’s what we always have in the freezer), playing with our blender and my beloved mixer, etc.

Jesse watching Lakers vs. Nuggets (Game 4)

Jesse watching Lakers vs. Nuggets (Game 4)

(Game 4’s last 30 seconds) This is how Jesse is when Lakers are losing in a game —- BIG TIME! He’s too quiet! Maybe if our friend, Nate, was around, he would’ve been talking a lot? I should’ve taken a video of him yesterday (Lakers vs. Nuggets, Game 5) when the Lakers were winning so you could see the difference.. hahaha!

Towards the end of my 2nd trimester, Jesse and I gathered as much baby stuff (and pospartum stuff) that we THINK we needed. Thanks to those who sent us clothes and other things, we were able to save a lot. I must admit, it was very tempting for me to buy those cute little baby outfits whenever we went out to buy, say, bottles and baby’s health care. I’m just glad I was able to control myself as much as I could. And if I couldn’t, I asked Jesse (of course, I had to ask his permission first) if we could go to ROSS & buy some from there (Ross has almost the same brands in other stores but they sell it a lot cheaper!) One day we went to Sears just to look at the cute baby stuff they had there & I found a 3-pc set of bibs for $9.99 (I think?) from Carter’s. It was so cute, I wanted to buy it. I thought it was cheap enough. I held it for a while in my hands, admiring it, then I put it back. We went to Ross afterwards and I saw the VERY SAME set of bibs for $2.50. I was so happy! Jesse let me buy it! 😛 And now that pretty much everything is here for the baby (& me), I went back to scrapbooking again.

My first set of clear stamps

My first set of clear stamps

Here are my first set of clear stamps. I don’t really know much about stamping and I’m still trying to learn but eversince I read about clear stamps, I got really interested with their ease of use and storage. They’re a little bit more sensitive than rubber stamps, though. These ones were on sale so I grabbed them. It’ll be a long long time before I’ll probably buy myself another set since we need to be frugal.. hehe.

My messy workspace

My messy workspace

Here’s my scrapbooking workspace. It’s been like this since I started on our wedding scrapbook album (January). I could only do 2 or 3 pages (max) each week (or every other week) because I tend to get lazy most of the time (when I still didn’t have a big bump) or just the thought of thinking another layout drives me nuts so I put off making another page for a few more days. Now it takes me a while because my big bump makes it harder to make a single page of scrapbook. Caleb moves around A LOT (non-stop, even) after 30 mins. of starting a page, as though he’s telling me, “you need to lie down, mom, and make some more space for me! It’s really cramped in here!” Well, here’s a peek of a few pages of the album that I’m still working on.

Front cover

Front cover

random pages

random pages

random page (bride and groom)

random page (bride and groom)

random page (LA Temple)

random page (LA Temple)

random page (garter toss)

random page (garter toss)

I didn’t do our album the way most scrapbookers do (with all those layers of papers, die cuts, eyelets, etc., in one page) because it would take me a century to finish if I do it that way (plus, I still don’t have that kind of creativity). I still have about 7 pages to do and the clock is ticking fast. I really want to finish this album before I give birth. Hopefully, I can.

Pregnancy is wonderful and amazing! I had an easy pregnancy during my first 2 trimesters. But even though I’m having a hard time now (I can’t move an inch without pain somewhere, especially getting out of bed), I will not trade this experience for anything else — not even the fun of creating a handmade card or a scrapbook page. Maybe I’m only saying this because I’ve had an easy pregnancy and never threw up and all (except for being nauseous all the time, & for those killer headaches I had during my first trimester). But still, it’s a wonderful experience knowing something — no, SOMEONE, is living inside you… already manipulating you! hahaha! Just kidding! The first little flutter of movements are such a joy! I will never forget my husband’s face when he felt our baby’s movement for the first time. I will miss his kicks inside me (they seldom hurt me) whenever I’m hungry, or have been sitting for a long time, or fast asleep (he loves waking me up in the middle of the night). We’re still looking forward to hold our precious one sometime soon– how soon, we don’t know. I’m bracing myself! Haha!

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Day After Thanksgiving November 29, 2008

Filed under: holiday,life in general,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 1:42 am
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It’s the day after Thanksgiving today and it’s oh so good! Jesse doesn’t have work & class and I can be with him the whole day!

Jesse told me that most people in the U.S. usually wait ’til after the Thanksgiving holiday (which we don’t have back home) before they’ll play Christmas songs and/or decorate their home with Christmas decorations. Back home, my dad always played Christmas songs starting mid-September. If we’re not too lazy, we’ll even decorate our home for Christmas before November.

Well, I waited ’til the day after Thanksgiving before I played Christmas songs in our apartment. The first ones that came into mind was the sisters that my dad always played when we were young. Their names were Carnie and Wendy Wilson. I loved their “Hey Santa” album and I never got tired of listening to them every year in our casette player when I was young (of course, there were no cd or dvd players back then… hehe!)

Listening to them now, again, brings such sweet memories to me. The small apartment we had in Marikina with our improvised Christmas tree (Christmas broom!) and the christmas lights hanging around the house and some decorations, of course. I liked our christmas lights because it came with this thing – it’s like a music box – that if you play the recorded songs there, the lights will blink synchronized to the music from the music box. Every December 24th, we always hung our school socks by the window for Santa Claus. We wrote him letters, too, as asked by our parents so that Santa knew what we want. Then the young ones (those under 12 y.o.) has to go to sleep until midnight, Christmas eve. We were always welcomed with Santa’s gifts and the simple Christmas eve dinner at the kitchen. We always either opened our gifts first, and then eat together or vice-versa. But the night always ended with how my siblings and I tried to stay up later than our parents just for fun. But then we’ll end up falling asleep again. 😛 I knew who Santa was when I was 9 y.o. Our neighbor told my younger sister and I about it, and we eventually realized it was true. My younger sister and I still tried to keep it to ourselves, though, and we still had our Santa Claus even though we knew who they were – and they didn’t know we knew.

(Mom, my sister, and myself) That's the window where we used to hang our socks

Mom, my sister, and myself

My sister and I waiting for the feast with our family

My sister and I waiting for the feast with our family

 

Unchained Melody November 12, 2008

Filed under: life in general,reflection,videos — Lois Sparks @ 12:37 am
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Oh, my love, my darling,
I’ve hungered for your touch a long, lonely time,
Time goes by so slowly and time can do so much.
Are you still mine?
I need your love, I need your love, God speed your love to me.

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea
To the open arms of the sea
Lonely rivers sigh, ‘Wait for me, wait for me’
‘I’ll be coming home, wait for me!’

Are you still mine?
I need your love, I need your love, God speed your love to me

This was sung by the Righteous Brothers. I think I was 5 or 6 years old when I told my parents this is my favorite song. I could understand a little English then and all I remember was that the singer was missing his loved one.

I just finished cleaning the last parts of our apartment (bathroom, fridge, oven, stove, floor, carpet, kitchen sink) half an hour ago (1:30pm) for our “white glove” today. I have been cleaning our apartment little by little since last Saturday (except Sunday). I am sooo tired, so I just continued listening to my “wedding” playlist on my imeem account (which I have been playing since I started cleaning our apartment at 10am today). This playlist includes all the songs I chose for our wedding reception, even though our dj didn’t play all of them. 

My last Sunday.. 2 days before leaving Philippines

My last Sunday.. 2 days before leaving Philippines

I was reading my mom’s email to me about how to clean a tilapia (good thing I did it right) while our songs were playing.  While reading her email, this song played & it just felt like it’s digging my heart for what I really feel once in a while whenever I remember I haven’t been home for a long time now.

 

I really really really do miss home so much. Having been away for over 4 years now, I think I’ve been a pro in dealing with feeling homesick. But who knows how long I can be good at it. Maybe someday I’ll just break down and cry like a baby… but for now, I’ll do my best to be strong while waiting for that day that I can be with my parents and siblings again.

 

A Letter to My Son August 13, 2008

Filed under: life in general,random,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 2:02 am
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Mother and baby

Mother and baby

Or better yet, call the title, “A Letter to my Children.” I was reading my old journal entries in the last three years and I, as I always did, came across this entry that I love so much. I wrote the entry on Aug. 20, 2006 after reading the first page of Ora Pate Stewart’s book called “A Letter to My Son.” At the beginning of her little book, she wrote her feelings about when she gave birth to her son. I wrote, “She talked about her son but as I read the paragraphs, I thought about all of you, my dear children… let me quote her:”
And so here goes the whole quotation:

You were new and good and wonderful. But mostly, you were the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. It was the hope of you that had guided and shaped my young life. And many a temptation was conquered and laid aside — because of what I expected of you — because of what I wanted to give you so that you could have a right and proper start in life. I knew that I could not expect you to be proud of me unless I have lived right. And I wanted you to be the clean, sweet, choice spirit that you are, who would choose me for your mother. I wanted you to look to me for security in love and for the stability and wisdom that would guide your youthful years. So I knew that I must accumulate love, stability, and wisdom for the great occasion of your arrival.

These thoughts and hopes began to form in my earliest remembered childhood, and I am still trying to achieve them, because there is not yet enough love, stability, and wisdom cultivated to supply all your needs.

You were the fulfillment, the excellence of my joy; you were the consumation of my love, the proof of my power as a woman.

I loved this message because I could relate to it so much… especially when she said, “These thoughts and hopes began to form in my earliest remembered childhood, and I am still trying to achieve them, because there is not yet enough love, stability, and wisdom cultivated to supply all your needs.” Even before I entered the Young Women’s class at church for the first time, I have thought about what my future spouse would be like in the next 10 or 15 years. I was well-aware I would come to that stage someday and I have tried my best to prepare. I was also thinking (up until now) what our future children will be like. I was 12 years old when I started writing journals addressed to my future spouse and children (but I lost that notebook).

After writing her thoughts, I continued, “these words may have come from a book but they all came from a mother who loves her children so much, the way I love you now even though I haven’t seen you yet. In God’s time, I will be a wife… and then a mother… someday you will be laid next to me in my bed after I gave all my strength to bring you out of my womb [and into this world]. I may get very very weak in giving birth to you but you are worth more than that! Nothing will give us greater joy in this world than for us, your parents, to see your beautiful, angelic face for the first time, and have an angel right before our eyes right then and there.”

10 years ago, I thought of what my children with my spouse would be like. 2 years ago, when I wrote this entry, I was excited but I was still patient to meet Mr. Nice Guy someday. I always have this saying to myself, “patience is a virtue” and “it will happen in God’s time.” That Mr. Nice Guy came back from his mission 3 months after I wrote this entry… and I met him 9 months after he came back! Still, the words I always tell myself still applies today… “patience is a virtue!” .. patience to wait for the next stage of our life together to come…

 

4th ChRiStMaS December 25, 2007

Filed under: life in general,random,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 4:58 am
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This year’s Christmas season is my 4th one eversince I came here to Hawaii. From the previous 3, I wasn’t really all by myself. But this year is different. My roommate is not home, all my close friends are on their missions, my other close friend is now living in Idaho with her hubby, and my better half is 5 hours away from me (if you fly!). I have some friends who invited me to celebrate Christmas with them but I don’t know, I feel like I just wanna be myself and have some time for myself.

Well, I guess I made a little bit of mistake doing that… especially now that I’m playing the Christmas songs that my Dad always played back home. Having called them at 7am this morning (1am of Tues. there) and having heard my brothers make fun of about anything at all made me miss home much more. I heard them making fun of our first real Christmas tree (artificial one) because we used to only use the improvised ones. I don’t know what they were talking about but I could hear them laughing at the kitchen while I was on the phone with my younger sister. I could hear some of them teasing the gifts that they received and laughing here and there, and they were teasing me too about the “news” that I told them. My sister begged me to come over so that they won’t have to pick on her alone. How I miss all of them! It sure did bring back memories to me. I’ve held my tears for 12 hours now and I’m pretty good at it in the past Christmas days that I had too. But I guess deciding to be by myself today is a little bit of a mistake because I think my tears are about to fall and there’s nobody here in my family to catch them for me.

I kept myself busy for the past 6 hours, trying to make cards (wanna see it?) for my close friends. I can’t imagine it took me 6 hours to make 4 cards. I’m really slow at making them coz I’m trying to build up an idea/design from scratch. I don’t have any books to look into and I am lazy to browse the internet when I’m excited to create my own already. The music in my laptop right now is making me feel nostalgic. Why am I even playing these songs?

Aside from that, I can say this is probably the best Christmas that I had here in Hawaii. I’ve never had a serious talk with my mom for a long time but today we did for about 10 minutes. It’s so cool how you can open up to your parents. My dad’s totally changed, I’m surprised! Another reason this is the best Christmas is that, other than my side of the family, Jesse’s side of the family finally heard of the news.

The idea I came up with tonight is to count the blessings I’ve received this whole year, and how many good deeds I’ve done to make up for the bad ones I made (lol), and remember our Savior… that this season is celebrated for Him. Maybe I can find someone tonight who is lonely like me or probably even more and extend a hand to him/her and make their (and mine) Christmas great! 🙂

 

It’s worth every inch, every ounce, every second… November 20, 2007

Filed under: random,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 11:25 pm
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I was sitting on the grass, under the shade of a big tree with a friend one day. One time, we both looked up in the sky at the same time and saw a bird flying towards the high branches of the tree where we were seating under. Then I remembered what I had thought before as an analogy to those birds. And I told my friend this…

One day I was walking from home to work and I passed by this palm tree and a bird was clinging to one of its leaves. He was trying to pull some strings of leaves, maybe to make a nest. I had wondered, “what if I didn’t have hands and I have to use my mouth to do things, just like this bird? That would be hard.” Then I thought that if these birds were required to do hard work just to build their nest, then we are required to work as well. I am required to work for the things that I need and want.

I realized more the value of work which I have never realized before. Sure thing, my mom really taught us the value of work but never had I realized its true value until that day. When I work for what I want and need, I feel happy about myself for accomplishing such things with my own sweat. It makes me feel that I can do things and the prize was so much worth it. It’s not just what I got out of it, but what it makes me feel about myself. It is worth every inch that I walked, every ounce that I carried, and every second that I spent. Instant gratification satisfied me but just a little bit… just because I got it too easy. Also, it’s important to remember the One who helps me accomplish the things I am doing and actually thank Him for helping me out despite my weaknesses. It is never just me alone.

And oh yeah.. those birds make really nice nests.

 

UnTiL iT’s LoSt…. November 14, 2007

Filed under: random,reflection — Lois Sparks @ 2:24 am
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There’s a saying that goes like, “you won’t realize what you have until you lose it” or something like that. I have oftentimes proved it to be true based on my own experience from small things like material things (i.e., a home to live in) to big things like friends, family, and love. Aside from my own experience, I have observed it happen to other people’s lives as well. It’s such a sad and painful thing to happen when you realize too late that you had what you used to have and yet you were never grateful for it, nor even felt appreciative for having those things.

(sample stories)

A wayward child always made her single mother worry about her. She thinks that her mom is ruining her life. For her mother, she’s all that she’s got. Worrying too much and because of much fatigue of working to sustain her daughter, she died of heart attack. Just then, the daughter realized how much her mother meant to her and that she’s all that she’s got.

I have so many blessings in my life. The fact that I am able to wake up in the morning is reason enough for me to grateful. If I would be given the chance, I would spend my time with those who matter to me the most – and as of now, it’s my immediate family who are very far away from me.