Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I would like to take a moment to get real here, to talk about the things that no one wants to admit to. These are some of my darkest thoughts and I don’t easily share them.
- Journaling – I write the things I dare not speak. For me, it helps put them into perspective so that I can remember that my life is much greater than my difficulties. My only requirement is that I write honestly. I don’t care who it hurts because I am the only one who reads it.
- Music – Heavy metal when I am angry. Gospel when I am depressed. Happy, foot tapping music when I am sad. Pop music for coping with symptoms. I am a firm believer in listen to whatever soothes your soul. I listen frequently and rarely watch TV because it uses too many resources and leaves me with sensory overload. Music combined with rhythmic breathing is my drug of choice for coping with challenging medical procedures.
- Prayer/Meditation – It isn’t completely prayer and it isn’t completely meditation. It’s my own personal blend of the two. I spend some time chatting with God like He is my best friend in the whole world. He doesn’t mind that I am not formal with our talks. I also spend some time reciting a mantra or clearing my mind of thought by taking a ‘mental’ vacation. I go to the beach or a beautiful flower covered meadow. It doesn’t matter where it just matters that I am alone and calm.
- Talking – I have paid a therapist so that I could cuss at her. I have been in group therapy. Lately, I have discovered a wealth of resources that allow me to speak openly about what I am experiencing. My fiancé is incredibly understanding, an online support group has provided a safe place to share my madness, and I talk to myself on my blog.
- Reading – I escape into a whole different world with a good book, most recently The Hunger Games! Placing myself deep into an interesting story can make me momentarily forget all that ails me. It’s a good way for me to remove myself from my current situation and to surround myself with a new experiences. Truthfully, when I am not with my fiancé, it is the only way I can clear my mind enough to fall asleep.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Bad hair, weird pictures (taken by his daughter), and silly gestures make for an odd picture.
Weird angle caused by short photographer and the classic ‘over’ smile (you know the one, where you smile too big and it makes you look odd).
These two are only funny when they are with each other. They were taken seconds apart and it looks like we are in some sort of disagreement about something but I can assure you that wasn’t the case. I particularly enjoy Arnold’s expression in the photo on the left. That’s “Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?" if I have ever seen it. If you are too young to remember Gary Coleman on Different Strokes, then I suggest youtubing it.
Last but certainly not least, this one is a doozy! Arnold looks like is scolding me for something and I look like I am ready to punch him. Neither of which are true. If a picture tells a thousand words, I am just saying that this one lies. It LIES I tell you.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
It was a great day for a birthday party, for some fun in the sun, some videoke, and to spend time with the family! I am so blessed by this family they are an amazing group of people and I am so proud that my son has now also become part of the family too!
Friday, March 16, 2012
I am certain that I could easily eat most of my meals directly from here. Ok, truthfully I might miss the lumpiya too much to do that.
Peoples Park is further up from Picnic Grove at Tagaytay. It affords some beautiful views of the surrounding area. It was a shame that the weather was not cooperative and kept us from getting some really great shots. But we enjoyed our time there none the less.
Arnold and I enjoyed this wonderful day spent together with our children. We are so blessed that we were afforded this opportunity for our children to get to know each other.
This has to be one of my favorite pictures taken during our trip. It leaves me with this impression that Brendon is on top of the World contemplating life’s very existence. He is probably just thinking ‘nice view’ but a Mom can have high aspirations for her boy, right?
Thursday, March 15, 2012
After Ziplining in Picnic Grove at Tagaytay we discovered a local park and enjoyed some time watching the kids climb around on the playground. Aena bravely managed to climb to the top on this one. However, once she reached the top, she couldn’t figure out how to get back down. Dad jokingly says, “Jump!.” Aena immediately says, “No! Papa!” He insists that she should jump but finally she discovers that she can easily turn around and climb back down the way she climbed up.
Aeona climbed all over the playground equipment. She tends to be very quiet and can move from place to place with such stealth one would suspect her of being a ninja. It was great to see her running around with a huge smile on her face. :)
Brendon even took the opportunity to play like a kid again and climbed up on the monkey bars. Once perched on top of them he did his best impersonation of ‘The Thinker.’ I can assure you that this is the most ‘thinking’ he did while on vacation. While on the flight to Manila we met a lovely couple that told Brendon to “be amazed by everything.” He has been able to allow himself to be amazed. Luckily, he has taken it all in and has experienced daily life here in the Philippines. It is such a blessing to be part of a family rather than just a tourist here.
The greatest joy comes from being able to watch these two amazing young girls grow into beautiful young women. My cup runneth over and I think I will allow myself to play in the overflowing of blessing from my new family.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Tagaytay is host to Taal Volcano; proclaimed as “World’s Smallest Volcano!” It also has a FANTASTIC zipline! So we set out with the three kids to enjoy the day at Picnic Grove overlooking the Taal Volcano. It was so much fun even though the weather was cloudy and we couldn’t get any great shots.
My son, Brendon, and I were the first ones to brave the zipline. Now, I will admit that ziplining is probably not on my neurologist’s approved list of things to do. However the zipline is not at a steep angle so the ride isn’t very fast. It was designed so that one could enjoy the views as they fly through the air. First and foremost, they strap you in really, really well. So you feel very secure even though you are laying there hanging from a cable. For us ladies, they even strap your purse in with you so you don’t have to worry about where you are going to leave it while flying!
There is such a sense of freedom while flying. For those few moments, I was not longer some girl with a chronic condition. I was merely enjoying flying like a bird through the sky and over the valleys of the mountains. There was a cool breeze blowing from the Taal Lake and I had no worries. This experience is one I will remember for the rest of my life. I am so grateful to be able to share it with my son, my future husband and his two beautiful girls!
Arnold’s youngest daughter decided that flying thru the air in a sling was just wasn’t her style whether on her tummy or sitting in the sling. She wanted no part of it. Therefore, we opted to take the family cable car over and since she was able to hang on to daddy she decided she could enjoy it. You can clearly see that by the huge smile on her face that she is truly enjoying the moment. She doesn’t normally smile for the camera so this is a very precious moment. You can also tell that we aren’t your typical family. But our love caught us off guard and it’s changed all of our lives for the better. My blessings are great!