Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's Hear it For the Boy

So the hub turned 40 yesterday. :-)

He didn't want a big party.

He didn't want to go out of the country.

So we just spent the weekend at Anvaya with his family.

And boy am I still tired. (details in another post)

While at Anvaya, I was able to organize a special dinner for John at the Wine Cellar. It went really well. The food was great (pumpkin and lobster bisque, spinach and mushroom salad with bacon and cognac vinaigrette, filet mignon with butterfly prawns and truffle infused mashed potatoes, and decadent chocolate cake with french vanilla ice cream and cheese cake with fresh fruits) and the set-up was amazing. The only flies in the ointment were the 3 little rascals that kept us from having a civilized sit-down dinner by constantly threatening to jump into the koi pond and blowing out all the candles that were lit for mood lighting.

Still it was a nice dinner.

While he really appreciated all the planning that went into the dinner, nay, the whole trip, I know it wasn't really John's scene. He's not into the big production numbers or fancy events. I'm pretty sure he went along for the ride because he knew it made ME happy to plan something big and fancy for him. At heart, he's really just a simple guy.

So come Monday, since he took the day off, I finally let him celebrate his birthday --- his way:

First we dropped Pilar off at school, which really made him happy since its something he never gets to do. He went around the school, met her friends, and had his first glimpse of the Mommy Pit (details to follow in another post).

Then we headed off to Megamall because its his favorite mall (next to Greenhills).

When it was time to decide where to have lunch --- there were all sorts of options (us being in Megamall). Expensive ones, mid priced ones, and cheap ones. He was still trying to be nice and started suggesting places he thought I'd like to eat in. But I took one look at him and said 3 letters I knew would make his day: K-F-C?

John loves KFC. Seriously. It is for this very same reason that I hate KFC. Because when you're married to John you will eat in KFC a lot. A LOT.

But since its his birthday, KFC it is.

After lunch, I don't even have to ask what we'll do next. It's the Power Books-Comic Quest-Filbars-Book Sale route. It is always the Power Books-Comic Quest-Filbars-Book Sale route when we're in building A. If it were Building B then it would be the Ace Hardware-Department Store-Cyber Zone-Tutto Moda route. My man is a creature of habit.

The morning is capped off with a visit to Dairy Queen for his standard 16 oz. Cashew Caramel fix.

We leave the mall full of chicken, comics and calories. And John couldn't be happier.

Like I posted on my status yesterday: It takes a day spent like a 7 year old boy to make my 40 year old man happy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

54 Days

Two things are going to surprise a lot of you when you read this post:

1. You will find out that I actually pray. And that I have prayed novenas.

2. That the person who gave me this latest novena is Jaims. (this part is for those of us who know him) ;-)

I just finished the 4th day of the 54 days that is required for the Holy Rosary Novenas to Our Lady. It's a 54 day novena, divided into 27 days of petition and 27 days of thanksgiving (something that you should still pray whether or not your petition is granted -- for as you know, or may eventually discover, God doesn't always give us what we want but He does give us what we need).

I can't remember if Jaime gave me this novena when I was still pregnant with the twins, or after I lost them. All I can remember is that 1) I was shocked he even knew what a novena was (hahaha); 2) he says his family swears by it, and 3) that he gave me his own copy of it as soon as I expressed interest in it. Which is just the kind of friend that he is.

It has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while now, frankly, gathering dust. 54 days is a big commitment you see. 54 straight days. No skipping, no doubling back (well you could technically say 2 in one day if you happened to forget --- but where's your commitment if you did that?).

Then I realized that I have prayed a novena longer than that.

When I was trying to conceive Pilar I found the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the makeshift chapel of our old UnionBank building. It was just there on an empty seat next to me. And when I read it, I really felt that it spoke to me. It gave me the words to express to God how much I wanted to have a baby. So I promised God, after I prayed the novena for the first time, that if he would bless me with a positive pregnancy test I would pray that novena every day until my baby was born.

254 (++) days later (no skipping, no doubling back --- honestly!) He gave me Pilar.

The Novena has not always worked. Or not always in the way we hoped it would. It went on to give me 2 more positive pregnancy tests after Pilar. But she remains my only child. For now.

I will be the first person to tell you --- that I am not the most religious person you will meet. I may be closer to the opposite end of the spectrum. I am a non-practicing Catholic (blame the Jesuits and too many interesting books on the ordinary origins of sacred things). But certain novenas and prayers have really touched my life. One was the Novena to the Sacred Heart, the other is this:

When I lost my twins, John's Tita Cecile did the nicest thing that anyone could have done for me --- she sent me the Novena for Mary, Undoer of Knots. And let me tell you --- that novena helped calm my heart more than anything or anyone could those first couple of months. I am eternally grateful to her for sending me that book.

So last Monday I found the courage, nay the fortitude, to start the Holy Rosary Novenas to Our Lady. Can I just share that at the end of each mystery you pray for a particular grace or virtue (eg. the virtue of resignation to the will of God)? And each every day the virtues that the novena calls for are the same virtues I myself feel like praying for. The novena makes me feel like I am speaking/praying from my heart.

With 50 more days to go, I hope I feel like this every day.

P.S. I am not afraid to share that I am praying for another baby. That if it is in God's plans for us, then I hope he blesses us with another child, hopefully another child we can conceive naturally. And if it is not His will that we have more kids, then I am also praying for acceptance of His plan, I am praying for healing, I am praying for forgiveness (from Him, my babies and from myself). I hope that whoever is reading this prays for me too. :-)

P.S.S. Anyone who wants a copy of any of the above mentioned novenas...just holler. :-)