Friday, December 30, 2011

From Our House to Yours

The grounds are finally covered with snow! I was hoping for a white Christmas but it's
never too late.... the Christmas spirit is still very much alive in our house
and the fresh snow this morning is stretching the holiday ambiance.

I had a bit of down time {in between preparing the New Year's ham and the laundry}
so I made this tag using my Stamping Bella stamp.

From our house to yours, I hope you are enjoying the holidays
and the cold but beautiful winter season!

Christmas Everyday

I wish everyday is Christmas Day!

I remember a nun told me once that when God created

the world He wanted a Christmas atmosphere...

where people are jolly, generous, peaceful, kind, family oriented...

That is not too much to ask isn't it?

It can be Christmas everyday!

Monday, December 19, 2011

100 Days After {An open letter to my father}

17th December 2011

Dear Papa,

I know how much you love receiving letters from us. remember when you were still in Saudi Arabia? You said you would rush home at the end of your work day to see if there are letters for you in the mail. Today I decided to write you a letter with a fervent hope that you would be rushing back home to us...

Pa, malapit na ang Pasko {Christmas is almost here}. I was putting additional angels on our tree this morning and I couldn't help remeniscing one particular Christmas when we can't still afford to buy the big tree we saw at the mall. I was nine or ten at that time. When we got home, you gathered some dried braches of the coconut tree from Tita Emy's yard and made a Christmas tree out of it. You painted it all white and said "O, ayan para mukhang may snow! {there, so that it will look like it is covered with snow!}. Jing and I had the best time of our lives decorating the small tree while you were singing "little Christmas tree no one to buy you give yourself to us..." I wish you would rush back home to make us a tree and sing to us once more....

Pa, remeber the year you got me a pnk volley ball for Christmas? That was the year I discovered you were our Santa Clause all along! You were so happy when you came home that night - you couldn't hide your excitement about the gift because you knew I was wishing for it the whole year. At the same time you were trying to suppress your excitement because you don't want to spoil the "magic" that Santa brings to my youth. Pa, you will always be my Santa - so giving, so jolly and and so magical in your own ways! I wish you would rush back home to give me the gift of YOU once more....

Pa, Noche Buena {Christmas Eve feast} is something we look forward to as a family. Mama was always busy in the kitchen making "halayang ube" {purple yam jam} for Jing and macaroni salad for me. The most anticipated dish was the mouth-watering fried Chicken Calasoy that you would bring home from Leila's Restaurant. Oh, how can i forget the the delicious smell that filled our kitchen once Jing and I unwrapped the brown paper and tin foil! You and mama would laugh seeing how delighted we were. I wish you would rush back home to share our Noche Buena once more....

Pa, today is the 17th of December.... the 100th day since you left so suddenly and returned to our Maker, to your heavenly home. It's been emotionally hard for all of us. You taught us everything but how come you never told us how painful it will be when you're gone, not to hear your voice calling me "anak ko" everytime I call you at home, not to feel tour hugs? Mama and Jing are hurting too. There is not a single day that we don't think of you. Even Mai Mai would sit patiently outside your bedroom door waiting and hoping that you would come out of the room and give her a pat on the head. I wish you would rush back home to ease the pain once more....

Pa, I can't promise you that there will be no more tears. I am not even sure if the wound of losing you will ever heal. I lost the man who made me who I am today, who sacrificed a lot of things to give me the best life I could possibly have, who loved me unconditionally.... YOU were and will always be the best gift God has given me. I am so proud to be your daughter and I hope I made you proud and happy too in my simple ways. When I look at the stars tonight, I will search for the brightest because in my heart your are that STAR looking down from heaven.

Papa, if not asking too much, please tell Jesus to let you rush back home because we want to hug you... just want more time....

I LOVE YOU forever Papa. I will see you again....

Your Ann

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Diorama and A List

December 8 - DIORAMA

One of the holiday traditions I look forward to when my sister and I were still little girls is the annual visit to C.O.D. department store in the heart of Manila. I remember a lot of people, young and old from near and far would travel to see the life-size-automated-musical-Christmas decorations built at the entire facade of the building. My Papa and Mama would bring us there at night time to better appreciate the lights and colors. I can't forget how beautiful they were and we would talk about it for days!

I can't find anything like that from our neck of the woods here in Canada but there is the annual Christmas Diorama at the Bay Shopping Mall in downtown Toronto that my hubby and I visit every year. It's not the same, but still magical anyway....

December 9 - LIST

It's the 9th of december already and I have not done any shopping yet! With so many year-end reports and presenations to finish plus the left and right dinner invitations, choir practices and personal errands, time is not my friend lately.

I manage to finish one thing though.... made the LIST and checking it twice....

I used a small craft bag for my journal and date page.

The colorful gift cards are sort of reminders where to get the gifst I want to give so I used these cards I got from shopping malls from previous year.

Hope to get shopping done pretty soon!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A scarf, random scenes and the plans

December 5 - SCARF

What a chill day! There's nothing beats a warm and soft scarf on a cold night like today....

December 6 - RANDOM

We make it a point to put up our Christmas tree a week after Thanksgiving {here in Canada, Thanksgiving falls on a second Monday of October} and keep on adding Christmas decor up until few days before Christmas. We add small things around the house that hold memories or stories from the time the tree is up until the big day....

December 7 - PLANS

I had some down time today and took the opportunity to plan the food, the drinks and the decor for our Christmas Midnight celebration which is known as NOCHE BUENA in the Philippines....

Since my hubby doesn't eat turkey, we're planning to have beef and ham as main course, Italian wine for drinks and dress up the dinner table in chocolate and white decor....

I hope you are having a great day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A wish, a party, a blessing and some quiet time

Project "December Daily" has officially begun here in my little studio. I'm quite excited as a newbie on this very popular holiday tradion started by Ali Edwards.

December Daily documents the 25 days leading to Christmas Day. Personally, I look at it as a "my captured moment" - a time to cherish at least one event each day that can be easily forgotten in the midst of our busier than usual schedule as we eagerly await for the birth of our Lord and Savior!

The tale begins...

December 1 - WISH

Still sick and stayed in bed practically the whole day. While nursing a bad cold, I wrote

my one wish for Christmas... I wish I can embrace my dad one more time.

I miss him so much...

December 2 - PARTY

Our marketing department had a our Christmas lunch today at Canyon Creek.

It's a nice break for everyone to have glass of wine {in the middle of the day :-)}

as most of us are busy preparing for our coming off-shore

sales and marketing meeting...

December 3 - A BLESSING

Every time I count my blessings, my good friend Tracey is always on my list.

My hubby and I had early Christmas dinner with her and her family

along with some friends today.

Food, laughter, songs, stories, friendship.

Until next time Trace...

December 4 - QUIET TIME

A breather... a reflection... a time to be still...

for in silence I hear what my God is telling me...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nature's Apple Coolers

When mother nature decided to make her own version of apple coolers,

this is what she has in mind...

The snow didn't last long {not yet anyway},

just long enough for me to capture the moment!
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