Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jammin' in My Jammies

I was listening to Katie Melua, as I celebrated the completion of the 5th month of 365-self~portraits, WordCount Blogathon 2011, and going on strong with 365 days of blogging, also in it's 5th month! 

Sometimes, the only way to overcome the feeling of being closed in, feeling helpless, desperate and hopeless - as if the world, your world is coming to it's end is to simply take life ONE minute, ONE hour, ONE day at a time.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Wordling Daily Mooosings!

I finally am able to participate in at least one of WordCount Blogathon 2011 theme days!  Today is Blogathon Wordle Day.  You could see "My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands" version in the image below created through Wordle.

As early as now, I am making a promise to myself, that for next year's Blogathon, I would prepare ahead to not miss the fun of doing the suggested theme days. 

Better blog organization is one of the foremost things I have learned from this event.  One does not have to compromise a lot of quality time nor creativity, if one plans ahead.  I use to feel strongly about being spontaneous with the blogs I post but the more I progress towards goals I have set in my life (conscious and unconscious ones!), the more the need arise for scheduled blogging and online time. 

All these progress has been gained through writing/blogging, I feel it very ironic but it is a reality I am facing.  The more I feel confident at  blogging (less self-conscious or obsess about details), the more I would like to have little time spent online but more on creating experience I can share in brief writing, and continuous regular posting.

Does that make sense to you dear fellow bloggers?  How have you evolved in the last weeks of WordCount Blogathon, or in the time period since you started blogging?  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Birthday, Blogathon & Being Beautifully 40

What a beautiful Sunday filled with simple pleasures!

Today, Omi B, the girl's adopted grandmother here in the Netherlands, and my soul mom celebrated her birthday.  It was also a family get together since the Yuletide season, not everyone was present, still it was very heartwarming to see everyone who was there.  Specially, L, P's daughter, who called this week to say she would like to come for the celebration.  This needs special mention because teen-ager's usually drift away from such gathering because of their own busy social schedule, and we understand it perfectly.  So it was very endearing to know she made specific plans to join us and call ahead about it.

While P drove the girls to Omi B (we would not have all fitted in the car), on the way he picked up our present for her: digital picture frame (Tomorrow, I will edit here tomorrow, what it is exactly, how Omi and the family reacted, our own impression etc. because I am too sleepy to write about it details now!).  Then he came back for me, and stored in our memory card the pictures we put together for the digital picture frame.

I used the time that P was on the go to finish the first post in a blog I created yesterday, entitled Being Beautifully 40.

Initially, the idea is to record thoughts in a 9 month period before the big 4-0 milestone. Plans developed to expand this idea to include: writing articles based on improving life stylishly and affordably; it will also be about healthy living through simplifying life and balancing priorities. In short living life to the fullest! Life does not simply begin at 40, you savour it more intensely.
Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, there is another blog born from this mother blog, entitled The Lightness of Being on the Bike.  I thought it is only appropriate to give this particular passion it's own home.
There were many things that I learned this month, which gave me confidence to put into action the ideas of creating those two mentioned blogs.  Most of it was through reading Michelle V. Rafter, who is the blogger behind WordCount, and spearheads the WordCount Blogathon I participated for the first time this year.
As I put my feet up with my Sunday's best shoes, I bask at the warm feeling of experiencing the rewards of living life simply, one day at a time, and the simple pleasure of being able to record them in words, which used to elude me.
Sending my love to all faithful readers, followers, generous commentors from ICLW, and WC Blogathoners!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Grasp Still Life - (celebrating a Book Anniversary belatedly)

On the 27th of May, 2008, I self-published a book with a collection of poems, using Blurb under my pseudonym Paper, which also served as it's simple title: Paper Poem.

It chronicles a difficult period through poetry.

book cover

The image below is the catalyst and inspiration for the book. This single image gave me hope, and helped my struggling spirit and clouded mind to write simple words, which I always struggle to find in times of stress and conflict.

I usually find it very hard to share, which is one of the motivation behind my 365 projects. It is very easy to slip into being a hermit when one is going through major transitions in life.  I have found comfort, strength, and focus in living life literally one day at atime

image originally taken April, 2008
I Grasp Still Life

There is utter happiness in a simple moment

There is simple joy in a basic action

As a little hand grasp the still life

Hope is rediscovered

Looking back, life has indeed changed a lot since I wrote this poem three years ago.  There are still a lot of major changes ahead, the only difference is, I feel my spirit is much stronger, my mind clearer.

celebratory collage for  the 365~self-portraits

I found this quote, that I would like to share to celebrate the third year anniversary of this book, that empowered me:
Words are a form of action, capable of influencing change.
Ingrid Bengis

How was life for your three years ago? Has writing words changed your life?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Snapshot of History

Today, I found out that this picture of the family with the Van Gogh Museum in the background has gained historical significance aside from having nostalgic worth for us. The sign of Van Gogh Museum has been changed and the new one is up, with official launching on the 1st of June!
My first visit of Van Gogh Museum was in 1998, a couple of days before it closed for a year long renovation - what luck!  It was very spontaneous, and unplanned, thus I did not have any picture from the time.   This picture was taken by a kind tourist last year in January, who saw me happily taking pictures of my family (preserving our first visit together of the museum!), and offered to shoot one with me on it.  Afterwards, I took a picture of the thoughtful lady, with her equally lovely companion.
Next week will be an interesting week since the girls will only have school until Wednesday, then onwards to an almost a week and a half break. P also got a message from the office that after Monday, he'll be free the week!  So, I am thinking of suggesting a visit to Van Gogh Museum over the weekend, specifically on Friday, when they have extended opening hours until 10 pm, featuring special events.
I'll take pictures of the new logo sign, perhaps even convince the family to recreate the picture above.  If you can't wait to see how the new sign looks like, you can also check it out on Van Gogh's Museum's FB page, where I learned about this news through the album they shared.
Do you have a picture of yourself taken with the old logo signage of Van Gogh Museum? Any plans of visiting?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

How I Silence the Noise

The only way I silence the noise of everyday life in my head is to empty it first through prayer, then read and fill it with words of wisdom.

Some words of wisdom, I would like to affirm for today:

We find greatest joy, not in getting, but in expressing what we are... Men do not really live for honors or for pay; their gladness is not the taking and holding, but in doing, the striving, the building, the living. It is a higher joy to teach than to be taught. It is good to get justice, but better to do it; fun to have things but more to make them. The happy man is he who lives the life of love, not for the honors it may bring, but for the life itself.
R.J. Baughan (no known info about the source of the quote)

How do you silence noise of everyday life at the end of the day?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

De tweede avond

De tweede avond ~ tonight was the second evening of de avondvierdaagse, an annual (four evenings) walking event in Holland, which started in 1909.

It has been a long day, and I decided to simply share quotes I am meditating on as part of my nightly ritual to positively end the day, instead of writing an account of how the day has been.

I have shared them previously in past posts but they are worth sharing repeatedly.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
Robert Brault

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense out of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Melody Beattie

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo Buscaglia

These are great days.
Winston Churchill

How do you positively affirm your day?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Today eldest participated for the first time in "De avondvierdaagse"  here in the Netherlands.  It is an annual four day walking event, introduced in 1909 in Holland.

It is a tradition we hope we could share as a family starting next year.  For now, we are very happy to support the eldest in the next four evenings of her walk.

If you would like to know more about this Dutch national tradition, as I myself would very much like to do, please check NWB Dutch Hiking Association.

An image of eldest is very rare now a days because she is at that stage that she does not want to be photographed at all. Except for the self-portraits she does herself, which I have to ask permission to share!

♡ ♡ ♡ I love this because I was not aware, neither was eldest, that Dada took a picture of us. ♡ ♡ ♡

Littlest wanted the tiara to be edited in, as she sat beside me and watched while I tinkered around picasa.

When was the last time you walked/hiked with friends and/or your family in the evening?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Apple of Our Eyes

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
Audrey Hepburn

Littlest~ apple of our eyes, has in numerous occasion saved the 365~ self-portrait project from going bust.

She makes us laugh, she can sometimes be exasperating in her stubborness but she always inspires! 

If you like to see some of the 365~ self-portraits that the littlest took, I archived (will archive) them under the tag LittlestLens.

Who inspires you, when the going gets tough?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hilversum, Horns and Horses

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.
John Vance Cheney 

please click on collage for better view

For the first time today, since we moved to the Netherlands, the girls and I biked to Hilversum a total of 22 kms to and fro.

I was very proud of them, as was P, when he welcomed them home.  He had to work today, and I shared and showed our bike outing to him, through the pictures I took of our tour, while he let the dinner he was cooking simmer on the stove..

This week was a pretty hard week for me - emotionally, and psychologically rendering me physically weak as it mostly happens.  For this, I am extra grateful, that today, a lovely sunny Saturday, I was able to finally fulfill my promise to the girls of going with them to Hilversum on the bike.  

It was not only a fun laid back Saturday excursion but also a graspable experience for them, that although I deal with depression, I do not let it affect the plans we set out to do.  We might not do it right away, but we will eventually.  A promise is a promise.

As we planned we got scoops of their chosen ice-cream at a shop we discovered last week, after buying middle-daughter's first communion dress.

I'll be writing more about our bike tour in my other blog, The Lightness of Being on the Bike,  which I finally shared to family and friends on my FB page this afternoon; now I am sharing it here, as well.

The first post and currently the only post on the blog page, was posted on the 11th of April, also the same  day I created the blog and had the idea to record bike tours, travels, thoughts, ideas, experiences and memories recalled while on the bike.

I felt inspired by Tina Su, a blogger I admire, creator of  Think Simple Now, whose words on her FB post (talking from her personal experience), to put  ideas into reality, and share it "out there" even if it is not yet fully developed, and it is still taking shape, made me move into action myself.

Sometimes, somethings simply needs an inspiration from the outside and empowering roar in the inside of one's being, to make it happen.  And I did my mighty roar: just do it!

 How do you celebrate when the darkness has lifted from you, and the sun shines again in your heart?

Friday, May 20, 2011


Family film night! Today we added to our DVD collection of The Chronicles of Narnia, last year's third installment in the film series of C.S. Lewis epic fantasy series: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

What are your plans for TGIF evening?

Have a lovely weekend, one and all!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Perserverance & Persistance

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Th above quote is my battle cry not only for how so far my participation in WordCount Blogathon 2011 is going along but for all my 365 projects, and my ultimate professional goal as well.

I am currently having a challenging time with myself, and I have always found that reading quotes helps alleviate the pressure I feel from within me.  With today's post, I share the selected quotes I am meditating on to keep me focused and centered, as well as a self-empowering personal poster, which is also today's 365~ self-portrait.(I was channelling, The Thinker by Rodin, but I feel my apathetic disposition was in my way of making a better effort.  Sorry about that!)

In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm. In the real world all rests on perseverance.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas Alva Edison 
How often—even before we began—have we declared a task ‘impossible’? And how often have we construed a picture of ourselves as being inadequate?...A great deal depends upon the thought patterns we choose and on the persistence with which we affirm them.
Piero Ferrucci
We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.
Helen Keller
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
Anne Lamott
 I hope you have been uplifted by the wisdom behind these quotes, like I have.  If you would like to read more please check out Joy of Quotes, my source for inspiration!

What quote inspires you to perservere and be persistent?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Slice of 365

Most often, the most simplest expression is the most strongest.

Tonight, I dedicate my 365~ self-portrait to P, and to the girls just because...

I love you, guys SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!
♡ ♡ ♡

P brought home two bouquet of gerberas after his three days' job out of town (Scheveningen, The Hague)

I wanted to remember with this picture our day, and that the small thoughtful gestures each member of the family does for one another is more than any wealth and treasure on earth.

Health issues are slowly  becoming a big challenge for me at the moment, and this morning I was contemplating whether I should go on with my 365 projects.  I shall have to see at the end of this month, how everything goes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Planning Ahead

2011 WordCount Blogathon Blogroll

Here is the official list of bloggers participating in the 2011 WordCount Blogathon.
Ahil AmarAhil Amar - Thoughts from Ahil Amar
Alana MautoneRamblin’ With AM, Living in upstate New York
Alexandra GrabbeChezsven Blog, What it is like to be a green innkeeper and live on Cape Cod year round
Alison LawLawthenticity, Personal and professional stories and observations
Alison PrestonLadyMoxie, Relationships with an added pinch of food, music, and bacon in the dish
Amanda SteinhausMs. Panda’s Blog, Writing because I love to write!
Ana Gonzalez - Our New Casa, Purchasing and remodeling a home; Live, Love, Laugh, Travel, Tales of a traveling family; Life’s the Beach, Helping Miami visitors make the most of their stay
Ana Gonzalez RibelroAce the Journey, Making decisions about life and money
Annabelle FosterYear of Shopping Detox, One girl, too much debt, and a game plan
Andrea ParkerAutism Fundraising Guide, Advice from the trenches
AngelaBaby Hellfire has a Blog, Peace and Tofu Chicken Grease!
Annie Daniel – Aniel Daniel, Random occurrences and my ever-changing interests as college student
Anjuli Unbirthday Escapades, Blog of memories past and present
Anne Wainscott-SargentThe Writing Well, Mastering the power of prose in business and in life
Annette GendlerMemoir, Writing & Life, Writing, teaching and publishing memoir, and creative nonfiction
Anyes Far Away in the Sunshine, A woman pursuing her creative dreams
ArialContrapunto, Happenings in Panama
Ashley LyonYou know I love You More, Book reviews and fandom excitement!
Barb FredaBabette Feasts, I write about cooking and I stew about writing
Barb GNever Another Diet, Finding Enough, the Quest for a Diet-Free Life
Barbara McDowell WhittA 1960s High School Diary, Nightly reflections by a young Iowan
Bebe BahnsenBebe’s Blog, Politics, religion, life in the South and general musings
Becky LeungTummy Time, Fixing digestive issues with a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition and exercise
Bill LascherLascher @ Large, Travels of a freelance journalist raised by a pack of lawyers
Billie NoakesBillie Noakes, General musings (usually light-hearted)
Bree HaysPenSlave, My move to Guam
Cara Law – Cake Me Home, Because life tastes better with cake
Carrie Random Girl Geek, Reviews of things that catch my eye
Catherine CanaceliPeriwinkle Confessions, Finding God in Everything
Christina Leach – Chris Scraps, A blog about my life and crafts
ChristianneCyanne99, Inner Thoughts and Ramblings
Christine CalvinInspired Life, Current events, women’s issues, randomness, sometimes silliness
Christine Evans52 Crafts in 52 Weeks, Exploring a new craft every week for a year
Claudine M. JalajasBelle Designs, Jewelry-making resources
Conniebhulbhulaiyan, Travel and memories
Conrad ZeroConrad Zero, Tips, tricks and resources for authors of all genres
Craig MotlongPacific Writing Company, Writing for writers
Cynthia RosiSimply Hug Yourself – Enjoy your whole self in Columbus, Ohio
DaisyCompost Happens, Family, garden, crunchy green eco-writer
Dawndela WebbInsomniac Imaginings, Musings and rambles of a stay-at-home mother of three; Erotic Images, Erotic fiction
David AllenAmazing iPad, All things iPad
Dayle FraschillaI Shall Be a Toad, Passions, both big and small
Deb WolfCounting My Blessings, Gratitude at God’s amazing grace
Denae DarcyDenae D’Arcy – TV journalist, freelance writer, social media enthusiast living near the Great Smoky Mountains
Don GonzalezGonzo’s Gab, Pontificating on Catholicism, technology, politics, cigars, writing, homerdogs and teaching
Dylan FogleDiscordianZen – Dark and it’s different
Elizabeth HumphreyThe Write Elizabeth, Writing. creativity. play. life.
ElizabethAmnesia Lane, Journey through the shows, books and characters that inspired my love of writing
Estelle Sobel ErasmusMusings On Motherhood, Midlife and Other Forms of Madness, A Running Commentary On My Transformative Journey Through Motherhood
Esther RumfeltHealth and Wellness Coaching, Helping you live well, be healthy and enjoy life
Frances BarkerFelting Needle, City and Guilds felt-making student, textiles and Suffolk living
Georgia FogleGot P.M.A.? – Positive Mental Attitude. Get Some.
Gerri Curless50 Is the New 40 – Wife, mother, grandmother trying blogging, crafting and sharing what I’ve learned with others
GinnieNua Feileacan, 30-something woman on a journey of discovery
GlennethLet’s Talk and Walk, Getting healthy through walking, eating better, and having fun
Gloria MarieGloriaMarie.com, Personal blog, mostly about photography.
Haley ShapleyGirl About the World, Travel writer’s tales of wanderlust
Harry MarksCurious Rat, Chewing on the tech industry’s wires
HeatherDiscover Washington State, Life in the Evergreen State
Heather BrooksServe One Another in Love, An online ministry for Christians of all ages
Heather WilliamsThis Blog Will Give You Cancer, Talking about nothing
Holly GreenWithoutAdo, Bible and secular articles
HopeThe Life of a Daydreaming Mommy, Mommy blogger
Jackie DishnerBike with Jackie, Turn obstacles into opportunities and other self-development lessons
JamieBarmaid Sookie, Tales of a barmaid
Jan CulpepperLife and Times of a Preacher Mom, Juggling life, ministry, parenting, a relationship and whatever else life throws my way
Jan Udlock – Imperfect Mom, Professional writer, parenting expert, mom of five
Jane BoursawReel Life with Jane, Home to Jane Boursaw’s syndicated family movie and TV reviews
Janis Price - Whispers & Roars, Life of a writer when your full-time job is not writing
JennKepkanation, Politics and pop culture
Jenni Derryberry MannMamahhh, Navigating the labyrinth of motherhood one breath at a time
Jennie PhippsFreelance Success Blog, Freelance Success outtakes
Jennifer WalkerMy Morning Chocolate, Delicious inspiration for people who wake up thinking about food
Jennifer WillisJennifer Willis, Journalist, writer and editor.
Jennifer WoodardWordzopolis, DIY marketing and public relations
Jenny BeikesOut of My Head, Musings on life events
Jessica BraunPink Rose, Blooming in Generation Y, I write about me, my life, my VISTA experience
Joan Lambert BaileyPopcorn Homestead, Gardening and living in Tokyo
JoannaMy Daily Mooosings, Simplifying life and culture in the Netherlands
Joanne MasonAbout English Idioms, What they mean, how we use them, where they came from
John P. JonesWriting at Gunpoint, When writing is not a comfortable experience.
Jon BellOn Mount Hood, All things Mount Hood
Judy DowningCustomer Approach, Connect with customers to grow your business
Julia B.Aunty JuJu’s Perspective, Thoughts on subjects that come up in daily life
Julia Munroe MartinWordsXO – Words, writing, and life!
Julie – The Write Place to Be, Being a freelance writer
Julie SturgeonKnowledgeWebb, Don’t Sweat the Tech, The quirky, fun, interesting and very useful in social media technology.
Julie TolbertCulturally Speaking, Through technology the world is getting smaller; Today’s Tea, About tea in 2011
Karen BannanNatural as Possible Mom, Because being natural isn’t always possible – or easy!
Kari WolfeImperfect Clarity, Literature and the writing and editing life
Kate MegillTeaching what is Good – Teaching younger women according to the Titus 2 model
Kate ReillyPolka Dot Suitcase, Family fun through creative living
Kathy MurrayThat China Girl, A reluctant teen expat’s life in Beijing
Katie Jett WallsOne/Week, Blogging, finding my voice, and identifying my passions
Katy ManckBooks YA Love, Recommending standout young adult books, especially from first-time authors and small publishers
Kelly MorgaMy Little Silly Life, The silly things, situations and people that make my life special
Khadijah M. BrittonBetterBio, Journalism that explores the intimate connection between life and science
Kris BordessaAttainable Sustainable, Reviving the lost art of self-sufficiency, one small change at a time
Kristi BernardKristi Bernard, Information for new writers
LaraApple Days, Army Nights, Dispatches from a go-gettin’ Manhattanite Army wife, MiliTrends, lifestyle, health and wellness issues among military service members and their families
Laura AckermanA Learning Adventure, Learning from all I do, especially my mistakes
Laura In my little town, The place where I write
Laura NewmanPatient POV, Patient stories that could make health care more responsive
Leah IngramSuddenly Frugal, Living more on less money.
Lesh Karan – The Mindful Foodie, Being mindful of your body, the planet and animals through real food
Leslie KnightA Body That Won’t Break, A 20-something living and loving in Oklahoma.
Leslieanne BarclayKooky Boutique, Making, doing, home and family
Li Vasquez-NooneSimply Nooner, My life as a writer, runner and gluten-free zealot
LindaThought Medicine, Exploring the power of mind from science to spirituality
Linda BlileySmall Business Bandits, Embezzlers in small businesses exposed
Lindsay OberstWord Zeal, For writers who love words and want to be happy
Lisa Pennywise Chick, Saving money, one penny at a time!
Lisa CarterIntralingo, Literary translation, writing, reading and the creative freelance life
Lisa ElliottThe Haute Host, Effortless entertaining
Lisa Jaffe HubbellEat, Read and Be Harried, My life, mostly in books, sometimes in food, and hopefully mostly funny
Lisa Tabachnick HottaKids & Mental Health, Peeling back the layers of children’s mental health and development
Liz SheffieldMotherlogue – Weaving words to explore motherhood and life
Maggie FanningThe Happy Bibliophile
Marcy OrendorffMarcy Orendorff, Clarity in Writing, Clarity in Life
Marge – Inside & Out, Engaging people on and off the web
Maria Gabriela MunozA Whisper Here and There, Books, movies, theatre, art and languages
Marissa DaceyChild, You’re a Beauty, Music, art and pop culture
Mark ConnollyThe Global Exclaimer, This newspaper is pseudo-serious except when it’s plain silly
Mark Stratton – Aggaspletch, An abiding sense of ‘Meh’
Marsha MaungYoga Mama, Live your dreams
Marvin Kirkland – Impermanent Insanity Writes, Writing to alleviate mental illness
Mary JuneMJ Writing Who I am, Defining the different parts of me
MeganNothing More Than Apathy, Nonsensical ramblings of my mundane life
Megan KrausePresent Tense, All about Megan Krause
MelissaThe Peppermint Palate, Melissa’s life
Melissa ChavezMarvelously Mundane, Media, tech and vegan influences and projects
Melissa LindbergGet Creative with the Good Idea Girl , Parenting, party planning and holiday celebrations
Melissa OakesGardening-4-Life, Adventures in sustainable and organic gardening, and raising chickens, rabbits and bees
Mena GraziePreternatural Post, Vampires, shape-shifters, witches, and other paranormals
Michele KellyKelly + LoDESTRO Blog, Communication and marketing ideas for innovative companies
Michelle RafterWord Count: Freelancing in the digital age, News, tips and advice for self-employed writers
Michelle ThompsonCreate Minded, Creativity is a Lifestyle
Mikaela D’EighLa Belle Dame de Merci, Reflections on art in all its mediums
Miriam Rainwater –  The Twenty-Six Letter Imagination, Books for children ages 2-12
Nathalie Hourihan Panic Station, The psychology of personal finance
Nicky LaMarcoWriting Pays, For beginning freelance writers interested in getting paid for their work
Nicole AyersThe MadLab Post, Commentary on mainstream and independent films, interviews with actors and filmmakers
Nicole Taylor – Taylor and Clark, Talking about home improvement
NikkiToday in Tees and Chucks, 20-something trying to be invisibly visible in a t-shirt, old pair of jeans and well-worn in Converse sneakers
NishaLe Monde, Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me
Ophelia BlomGirl Stripped Bare, Laying my soul bare in all of its mud pies and fireflies
Pavithra KodmadPavithra Kodmad’s Pages, I love to write and I love to write about what I read
Peggy CrippenPCS Italy, Information for military personnel moving to Vicenza, Italy
Peter McCambridge9 Months with the Chicago Manual of Style, One man’s quest to read the Chicago Manual of Style from cover to cover in nine months
Peter WeissensteinJoin Me for a Cuppa, A virtual kitchen table where I post my views
Pierce PresleyThe Pierce Presley, Me being me
PJWild Optimism in Oviedo, Stay-at-home mom’s thoughts
Rachel VidoniEast Coast Musings, The musings of a mediocre mom
RafaelNeither Here nor There, A writer’s blog about her work
RashidaBooks, Bass and Beauty, Urban/Street Lit author, blogger and Hip Hop head
Rebecca ColaLibrary Diva’s Guide to Volunteering, Managing library volunteers
Regina SewellPeering into FogTurn Roadblocks into Building BlocksPossum Crossing: Culinary Adventures – I am rotating between my three blogs
Robyn Good Blogs, My life as a wife and mother
Ron S. DoyleBlogSaladBlog – Life with Ron
Ros DemareeSmall Town Writer, Commentary about everyday, small-town living
Rose MedlockI Was Supposed to Be Samantha, Writing a first book
Ruth CookeBuilding an Awesome Life, Improving life for everyone
Ruth TerryRE | group, Reinventing your professional self

SabrinaTaking Off My Coat, Removing fat from your body, life and spirit
Sarah E. LudwigParenting by Trial and Error, The learning curve in raising kids
Sarah WylandWears Inappropriate Shoes, My post-college life, with a big girl job and fabulous heels.
Sawyer FranckSome Can Whistle, Even whistling in the dark is better than Prozac
Shana SweeneyBenefits Babble, Demystifying corporate benefits
Sheila CallahanSheila Callahan, Who knows?
Sondra HubbardCat Trees and Pet Supplies, The information your pet deserves
Sookie StackhouseNews Bite, Where you can get your daily bite; Sookie Stackhouse’s Internal Ramblings, a creative outlet
Stacey BoydToday in WordsLife These Days, and Wish I Wasn’t Fat, Life with Stacey
Stephanie Suesan SmithInformation Central:  Gardening Questions Answered
Sue DickmanA Life Divided, Food, reading and trips to India!
Summer WhitfordDelicious Prose, Write. Edu-tain. Excite.
SusanChain the Wolf, My first years as a freelance writer and learning how to run a small business
Susan Gay JeffriesQuite Simply, Living everyday life with simplicity, beauty and grace
Susannah FisherCricklewood Farm, Living the dream of living on a farm
TabithaTwenty-Something, 20-something new mom on food, friends, family and finances
Tai Goodwin – Practical, Profitable Social Media, Content marketing advice
Tammy EllingsonMama Can Dance, A mama who still grooves to her own beat
Tara PhillipsTwo Hands and a Roadmap, Brevity is the soul of w
Tatyanna M WilkinsonBlue Eyed Monkey Eeeks! , 60% opinion, 20% wisdom
and lots of ramblings…
Taylor SmithAdamant Anvil, Creative prose and poetry
Tere ScottTeachable Scotts Tots Homeschool and Elephant Ears Learning,  Homeschooling in the Midwest
Tess C. TaylorA Journey of Words, Smart writing business insights
The Fitness Moms – Where moms come to get fit
Tia BachDepression Cookies, Mother-daughter co-authors of Depression Cookies promote their novel
TJMoonlight and Shadows, Character building of one red headed red wolf
Tracy O’ConnorI Hate My Message Board, Humor, crankiness, a museum of snack foods
Valerie AndersonHome Central, Benefiting from the experiences of others and laughing along the way
Valerie OwensQuality Research and Writing Services, Science, technology and entrepreneurship
Vanessa Geneva AhernHudson Valley Good Stuff:
Where to Eat, Play, and Re-charge Your Spirit in the Hudson Valley
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

First Holy Communion

As time allows, I will write in more details about middle daughter's First Holy Communion, which she had today. 

It was a very simple , lovely and memorable ceremony, that was enjoyed by the family and the entire community.

The ceremony and the atmosphere of the church brought back memories of eldest First Communion in Germany 5 years ago,  in June.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wrapped in Shoppiness!

Today has been a long day, and tomorrow will be much the same, so tonight another photoblog entry.

Tuesday will be a recap of a very eventful week/weekend, since Monday the 16th  is WordCount Blogathon Guest Post Exchange Day.

How was your Saturday or your entire week? Any interesting plans for Sunday?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Giggling over Geese

I write this kind of anecdotes specially for beloved P because at the end of a long day, I tend to forget how to tell the story in the rhythm, that I would have liked to have him witnessed and experienced the moment himself.

Sitting beside the Littlest, who is not ready to nap because she was up 2 hours later than usual, I asked her which DVD she would like to watch, and requested her softly to sit down and not groggily walk around.

I was simply grateful she did not choose Percy Jackson (each member of the family can recite the lines of all actors in the entire film; just to state the obvious: we watched it almost if not over a  hundred times!), that I did not mind when she said "Geese!" meaning Fly Away Home.  P's most favourite film of all time, which he enthusiastically shared with the girls

Well, our three year old has not viewed this film as much as she did the other films we have in our DVD collection because it is not as action packed as most films she likes; it starts tragically, and for her it builds up slow.  This has changed since last week, though.

As I planned, outlined, drafted and pre-scheduled publishing posts for "My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands", I heard the littlest uttering lines from a scene, before Anna Paquin's character 13 y.o. Amy, even uttered it.

In this theatrical trailer of the film, you will see a scene of Amy's Dad played by Jeff Daniels, telling her that he would be busy catching up on work, and Amy replying, "I am not a baby. You don't have to hold my hand."

We have often heard the Littlest quote a line from a film but mostly she says only main words clearly, and other details she sort of mumble. As in the case of Percy Jackson, where her favourite line is: This is a pen! (in a scene where Pierce Brosnan's character gave him the pen and told him to "...use it only in grave danger.."). Littlest's version used to be, "ehhhh...unintelligible...pen!" Now she could say the whole line with proper intonation , emotion before she starts jousting with the aforementioned pen with her older sister, middle daughter K.

This happened today with Littlest's favourite line from Fly Away Home, "I am not a baby. You don't have to hold my hand."  Well, okay her version still remains: "...not a baby. ....not hold hand." But her intonation, emotion and earnest knowing look with her eyes focused on the tv screen, while reciting the lines made me crack up and go awww at the same time.

I asked her needlessly as I rewinded the DVD to that particular scene if she loved what Amy said, and she smiled widely, nodding not taking her eyes off the screen.

Then I leaned over and playfully whispered in her ears, "Well, Amy does not need her hand held anymore but Mommy can still hold your hand, right?" Littlest nodded, smiling.  "You are still my baby, right?" she replied almost with the 13 y.o. Amy's decisiveness, "I am Littlest!" .

She laughed right after and I giggled.


This was written yesterday under my FB Notes.  I thought I will share it here to share the lightheartedness I felt yesterday to fellow users of  Blogger, who experienced frustration of the site being down. I hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Something's Cooking!

365 ~ self-portrait that inspired today's post

Today was again one of those, days that I doubted if I will be able to think of something to write about because there were so many things going on. There are also a lot of things coming up over the weekend. This kind of situation usually sends me in panic mode and I blank out.

I reminded myself to breathe in and out and FOCUS!

Then I asked myself, what is the motivation of this blog?
  • It is not about selling a product or an idea.  
  • It is not about giving daily advice full of wisdom for a particular field of specialization or profession
What it is about is:
  • ... living the day's moments consciously , and recording the essence of the day in blog format, with the hope of inspiring, as one strives to keep one-self inspired
  • ... learning and exchanging ideas/philosophies with other bloggers/writers in the blogosphere
  • ... taking baby steps towards a profession/passion/dreame I once practiced/lived and dreamed of but due to many personal issues fell on the wayside
Letting all these points go through my mind as I cooked dinner for the family - my simple pleasure - relaxed me, and gave me the inspiration for today's post of the day.

Initially, I wanted to write about what I have been cooking up for ideas regarding how I plan to be blogging and commenting around in the blogosphere i.e. planning posts for the entire month, and pre-publishing, building up readership etc.  Tips and advice from Michelle V. Rafter at  WordCount , have inspired me to do so.

But while writing my draft, I encountered technical issues, and thought I should allot another time for writing out those ideas next week.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Play Day

Household not done
Sunshine was more inviting
Monkeying required

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Day in Haiku

Today's theme in the 2011 WordCount Blogathon is Haiku.

I love poetry, and have not written one for a while now, and so today because I am in such a great mood (after an emotional weekend!) I chose to celebrate it by creating not  one but three Haikus. Hope you enjoy the pictures that inspired me, as well!

Morning's Dawn*

Drinking Earl Grey tea
Early morning's pure pleasure
Bliss is in the simple things

Afternoon's Awakening*

Merry singing birds
Makes me float in happiness
Landing gently:  free

Evening's Expectations*

Family gathered
A wonderful tasty meal
I smile at the thought

Titles are not for the Haikus but for the collection of 365~photographs.                                                          

Monday, May 9, 2011

Preparing for Sunday's First Communion

Today we bought middle daughter's communion dress, together with a new pair of shoes to go along with it. 

We  also got a Spring/Summer dress for the eldest, while the littlest came back from Germany with a dress bought by Oma H. 

They would be both wearing these dresses on middle sister's special occasion, which will be on Sunday!

Another daughter, who will have her first communion.

 It seems not so long ago  that eldest had her first communion (June, 2006), and we were still living in Germany, and life was very different.

So many changes, so many transitions, but traditions, ceremonies of life's passages remains constant.

The more I grow with our girls, the more I find comfort on all things constant, while I find simple ways to go with life's ever-changing flow.

What memories do you associate with first communions?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day On the Beach

The eldest found the shell and took a picture of it while we were walking down towards the beach

A short and what I hope will be a sweet greeting post:

Happy Mother's Day, and greetings from the lovely beach of  Zandvoort, the Netherlands!

How was the Mother's Day weekend, and how did you spend it? 

Another shell that the eldest found hanging in one of my ear hoops - I was asked by eldest not to forget to mention that detail!

I feel much lighter, now that the girls are at home again.  I have missed them terribly, and I think that was one of those little triggers that made the weekend a tad emotional, and turned me a bit of a melodramatic blogger!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thoughts As Mother's Day Approaches (2)

Two years, one week and one day ago I took this picture of the girls. . .

I look at it again tonight filled with love and deep yearning, that I may hold them all in my arms sooner than tomorrow.

Through the years, I have been very hard on myself because I felt, that I have let manic-depression rule over my life, thus short-changing my daughters, whom I all have wished for all of my life, of a mother they deserve.

Luckily, I have been blessed with family, friends, and random wonderful kind-hearted people, whom I all have met throughout my journey to healing, who all have helped me in my struggles, and have not let me give up.

When  feelings of helplessness, fear, and all the myriad emotions, that one goes through when the dark moments revisit, I look at the images of my daughters, of moments captured that I would not like to forget, and after a while I see them in my mind, and their eyes, and see, to them, I am just the best that they could ever have as a mother.

I try to hold on to that image because not believing it is giving in to the darkness of my mind, and not the light of love of my daughters.

BlogNote 0:09 AM (this is actually more a note for me, so I will not forget...)

I almost did not write today, and spent half an hour in the bathroom crying, purging all the negative feelings I was having over myself before I literally shook my head, and made myself focus on "simply being there", no matter how I feel, and no matter what thoughts will pour out on the keyboard and on to the computer screen.

Yeah, 365 are not free from tears.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thoughts As Mother's Day Approaches

My Mommy, , when she was 17 y.o.

These thoughts were written on the 5th of May...*

I will take the next few days as an occasion to sort out some old family pics, which I took with me when I left the Philippines for my first trip abroad, January 1993.

It is still difficult for me to look back because it seems since I left my birth country, life simply fast forwarded, and the years flew by so quickly with so many huge transitions, that I would have loved to have experienced with my family near by and not oceans away.

My Dad † passed away 1999, the year I conceived eldest daughter; my grandmother Nanay I † passed away before my Mommy finally visited us in Germany.  By then my own small family has grown with the second child in our second home in Hamburg.

There were so many milestones and painful experiences, which happened all at the same time, that I could enumerate but I have learned to focus on the great memories & treasured moments I did share with my family in the Philippines, and feel enriched by the great memories & treasured moments my family and I experienced in Germany.

There should be no place for regret in decisions made, which changed how life might have been. NOW is great BECAUSE of those decisions; the compromises and sacrifices one had to take along with those decisions are part of living.

Change is the only constant in life, which we have to accept for us to be able to truly BE in the simple moments we share, with the people we cherish.

Living in the now is what life is all about.

My thoughts as the days approaches  Mother's Day (Sunday, 8th of May)


With this post, I am taking Michelle V. Rafter's advice in 25 Ways to Blog Everyday, posted at WordCount, of pre-writing, and pre-scheduling the publishing of posts. Later on, I will be checking out  Editorial Calendar Plug-in, mentioned in the post, which is meant to assist with this endevour.

 It is a part of my baby steps to make blogging regularly a simple part of my life.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Have Fun Getting to Know Holland! (Part 1)

(This was yesterday's emergency placeholder blog, for background story please click: here)

On today's WorldCount Blogathon 2011  I am sharing, what hopefully will be a fun survey for everyone! Yesterday, for personal reasons, I was not be able to participate on the blog event's first theme day, for the topic: My Favourite Books on..., and will have to do it instead another day this week!

The day before yesterday, I visited About English Idiom's page, by scrolling down the 2011 WordCount Blogathon Blogroll, and I found this neat survey widget!

So, I am using this for today, to try out one of Michelle V. Rafter's suggestion in 25 Ways to Blog Every Day. I have not done this before on this page, and I am excited to see the result!

Try to answer without using Google, and have fun with the poll!  Later on, you can look up your answers, and maybe learn a little bit more about the Netherlands, than you do now! I sure did!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Please adjust the scrollbar on the side and bottom frame of the embedded poll to see for example the entire painting of Johannes Vermeer, and be able to answer the corresponding question!

Greeting everyone in the Netherlands:
Happy Liberation Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Observing Remembrance Day & Celebrating Liberation Day

We observed Remembrance Day (the 4th of May) with our dear B, who will be off to France ; as usual thoughtful, loving and caring she invited us to dinner before her trip. It was a lovely bonding evening

After midnight (5th of May)***, when beloved P and I reached home we waved the Dutch flag to celebrate Liberation Day.

As you will read from the link  above, on Remembrance Day at 8:00 p.m., two minutes of silence are observed throughout the Netherlands.

To pay tribute to this day, I've combined the365~ self-portrait  images taken on the 4th, and the 5th in a collage.  For me to do this, I had to switch the blog (the emergency placeholder blog!) I posted yesterday with this post, you are currently reading (written on the 5th of May).  Now, you will see what was posted on this blog space you are currently reading once again as the most recent post (5th of May).***

I have to be honest that it is only this year, that I am slowly having a feel for all the special dates that is observed and celebrated in Holland, and I did not take in consideration, nay, I totally forgot, that the 4th was Remembrance Day *bows head in shame*.  Next year, I will have a better, more organized Dutch calendar.

This blog is my small step towards it.

***I do realise this will not make sense to anyone except me.  But if one did saw the post which was on this space, then this will be a helpful information to lend a bit clarity to why the original post "disappeared" and you are reading these words now.

 I took the liberty as a publisher of this blog page to switch post because I wanted to mark Remembrance Day.  The lesson I have learned: as much as I would like to be a spontaneous blogger, I do need to organize a calendar, and plan blogs ahead according to the calendar for this complicated (explaining and...) switching of post not to happen again!.